Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Light in the Global Village

Somewhere in the global village 
under the golden sun

footsteps fall softly, 
on dust and wind swept paths 
– though, out of adversity – 
the lessons of the journey last;

and there is much to learn: 
about making one’s way, peaceably, 
upon the earth, amongst all living things

finding comfort in discomfort, 
enjoying happily bestowed laughter 
and the smiles of old souls, 

and listening to wise words – for 
one’s fate may come to depend on them.


 Where roads in the global village 
converge, under the golden sun,
simple truths are the hardest 
truths to hide from – for the disparity
of power and wealth, is great . . .

and yet, even as scattered 
sunbeams, find a way 
to glisten on stone walls,

unity of purpose illuminates 
our shared humanity 
in unexpected smatterings of light:

lovely and profound.

note:  Earlier this year, one of my sons was privileged to be involved in building two homes in East Africa to house babies and children orphaned as a result of the AIDS crisis.  It was a life altering experience for him, on many levels - though he was particularly struck by the fact that, in the face of tremendous adversity, the bright, articulate people that he met there, were wonderfully happy and welcoming.  He queried an African University student about this and the student explained that there is a saying there:  "Be comfortable in your discomfort".  Such a profound outlook and really, perhaps, the answer to many of our global problems.  Maybe if each of us could learn to live with a little less – endure a bit of discomfort . . . there is hope for our planet, yet.

photos:  #1:  Graphic Sun – W. Bourke (this is a little experiment I took on, challenging myself to produce a graphic by taking a picture of a blank white sheet of paper (without ink of any kind on it) and altering  it into a cheery, childlike image of a golden sun, using Picasa photo technology alone.)

#2:  Light in the Global Village – submitted by P. Bourke
© 2014 Wendy Bourke


  1. cool on your son...i was planning on going to africa last month but i need to finish grad school first....so i hope next fall to be able to...our global consciousness...realizing that we are all in this together....if we could spread that...how beautiful this world would be...

    1. Sigh, Life does get in the way, doesn't it . . . though, hopefully next fall, it'll get out of the way for a wee bit (AND at the right time). From what folks who have gone there have shared, I can see that it is an honor to go . . . and what wonderful children!

  2. To understand and feel the pain of others is a gift not everyone has it. And yes very true if we survive on la little less stuff that everyone will have enough.

  3. Oh I love that .. to be comfortable in you discomfort.. to some extent I think that is good.. yet I would not wished it said by someone sitting in comfort.. to share is really the only way.. and maybe it's just cowardice that not more people do this things.

  4. Good for your son ~ I believe these experiences enriches the soul and makes us more appreciative of our blessings ~ I noted that you are from Vancouver ~ I am envious of your weather ~

  5. Wendy, I am so glad I did not miss this post. Bravo to your son for his work. I am struck by the same thing he was - there is a LIGHT and a JOY in African people, that seems lacking in our country of privilege. I have watched the African Children's Choir three times now on heir tours of North America, children who have witnessed unspeakable things, endured terrible losses, yet there is so much light and joy in them it is amazing. I so resonate with your poem - "making ones' way peaceably, upon the earth".......and "the smiles of old souls".........wonderful!

    1. I so agree, Sherry. The stories that were shared about the children were wonderful. Just look at the two little guys doing the thumbs up dance in the photo - right down to the way they mimic how my son is holding his mouth. I'm sure they have both seen far, far more than their fair share of troubles - but they're still up for a bit of fun. Truly, they break one's heart with joy and sadness.

  6. What a privilege indeed. You have raised a thoughtful, giving human being, Wendy, your work is done! ;) I bet you are such a proud mama, and of course you should be. I love that last stanza and closing line, especially. Thank you for sharing this with us!

  7. Once again, I'm drawn to the profound messages within your poetry, e.g.:

    "unity of purpose illuminates
    our shared humanity"

    Really like the sun illustration and the photo too. What an experience for your son!

    Thank you indeed for sharing this.

  8. P.S. Trying to get caught up after recently cruising through the Caribbean.