When my husband I married the Vietnam war was raging.  It was a very uncertain time for two young people:  there was conflict and despair over the continuing war and the sudden and tragic loss of our leaders. 

Now, generations later, we have weathered the tests of faith, found our own way and we have maintained our fidelity to one another.  We have also come to embrace a sense of belonging in the world, we have meaning in our lives, and we have an enduring hope that, despite all of life’s uncertainties, our children can look forward to finding value in themselves, their own life experiences, and what they are able to contribute in the world.

We have grown deeply concerned again and at moments our cynicism has returned as we have witnessed sad realities of the Iraq war, the growing wealth of a select few, and cold and destructive forces in our society and throughout the world.

We are hopeful now that the current election will lead to a change of policy and heart at home and will eventually help establish trust and peace among peoples of different cultures and nations.

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DOVER BEACH

The sea is calm to-night
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits;–on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanch’d land.
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Ægean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.

The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furl’d.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

(hear poem set to music here)

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