An Abundance of Love
“In my family, there was not an abundance of wealth, but there was an abundance of love.” Lauryn Hill
The Angel pictured here sits quietly on my desk where she greets me every morning as I sit to journal and meditate. I found her at an antique shop where I’d stopped to take a break while on business travel in Washington state years ago. The fact that she’s holding a basket of apples made her the perfect souvenir, so I brought her home. Ever since, she’s inspired me through the continuous flow of life’s ups and downs.
I have always loved the symbolism of the basket of fruit. It represents abundance, the harvesting of good and plenty. But today, this Angel’s basket elicited something different in me. It brought memories of a dream long ago that awakened me because I was literally crying. As I wiped away tears from my sleepy eyes, I recalled the dream in vivid detail.
In my dream, I was staying at a hotel. I went to pull some clothes from the closet and was surprised to find a mother holding her index finger to her lips, desperately signaling me to not make noise. She then pointed to something behind her. In the shadows stood her husband and two sons. She nervously explained they had just arrived from Mexico and knew they had to proceed cautiously for fear of being found out.
I learned they had been walking for many days. As I listened, I noticed their clothes were worn, sweaty and splotched with dirt. Their faces reflected extreme fatigue from the intense conditions they had endured.
Sensing I could be trusted, she enthusiastically shared their dream of making a better life for their boys here. They were all hard workers, having labored the fields in their country and eager to work where they could now. As I listened to their stories, I was touched by their deep affection and tender love.
As I dreamt, my heart stirred because in waking life I had received this same love from many similar families I worked with over the years. Their love is so great, it is naturally extended beyond their families to others once trust is earned. I know many people outside our culture who are moved as they are embraced and wholeheartedly accepted by our familias.
The love I’m talking about was expressed by the family in my dream. As a measure of extreme gratitude for the care I had demonstrated for them, they humbly gave me a basket of fruit they had harvested in the fields back home. The basket was quite big and overflowing with apples and assorted fruit! I was blown away by their generosity.
As we finished talking, they begged for my reassurance. They wanted me to tell them they had made the right decision to come here. It was at that very moment that I felt my heart break. I knew their dream to make an honest living in this country was honorable, but I also knew the harsh realities of coming here. How could I tell them they would encounter unwelcoming and hostile attitudes here? I knew the truth would break their hearts. It was painstaking and I could not tell them. In silence, a profound sadness swelled within me, and I began to cry with such emotion that I awakened.
Why was I inspired to share this dream now? Maybe, just maybe, my celestial helper holding the basket of apples knew the time had come for me to share it. Unless we live under a rock, our current events reflect the harsh reception of immigrants arriving here. I sense the hostility stems from a fear based on limited and biased misperceptions. That fear drives love for fellow humans away. That fear has led us far from the truth we know in our hearts. Without love, there is no compassion. And this, my friends, is what is most needed today: an abundance of love.
These times call us to cultivate more compassion and kindness, especially when we observe news or people whose behaviors are anything but loving. Such moments are an opportunity to plant and nurture more seeds of love.
Open to creating a deeper understanding and acceptance of other people’s differences. Consider ways to get to know other cultures. Library books are a good start. Visit an ethnic market. Hold conversations, ask questions, listen, learn. Sample different foods. Ideas are endless, but we must act on them to reap results. The more heart-based action we take individually, the more the collective good increases.
—Where in your life can you nurture more love and compassion?
—What loving intentions no matter how big or small, for yourself and for others, can you set today?