Thursday, I stayed after the workshop was over, speaking with the Science Department Chair about problems and making life better for our communities locally and at-large. I found myself revealing closed portions of my past when confronted with the questions of my sense of immediacy and urgency in “doing something” and “doing what’s right”. As the words spilled from my mouth, I felt pains of the past tug at emotions, almost not wanting to be cleansed, to continue to be hidden. Yet, her demeanor was so caring, I recounted…lost relationships, lost health, lost property, lost income, lost sense of home and place, emotional voids….yet life and responsibilities stood steadfast waiting for me to continue acting, supplying, being present. After all, I was a mother with a 3 year old daughter alone and nowhere to go. I remember clearly lying in bed contemplating and wishing for ‘an end’, right leg embedded to the knee in a cast, unable to work, delivery of canned goods from a local non-profit, a young baby daughter…a failure, with a Masters degree. Faith? Didn’t have much amid the desperation. But I prayed. I prayed for faith, for strength, for change, for hope…and it arrived, but with time unlike mine. Today, by no means wealthy materially, I have the experience, the knowledge and the empathy to realize and understand that those who suffer are the “me” I have been and the “me” I still may become. How then can I hate, curse, despise, belittle, condemn others, when ultimately there is so little that prophetically separates us from fate, from future history and destiny? I cannot speak for others, but it is my belief that when there is an opportunity to uplift, I am being called to answer, to help, to be part of the change I wish to see and “be”. I drove home feeling warm, loved, protected. As I drove home, I spoke to my mother, my father and my family who have gone before me, with whom I still share my love, my thoughts, my gratitude, my hopes and dreams in moments of silent reflection. As I exited the car and shut the door, I turned back and caught glimpse of the turbulent November sky from the direction where I came. The symbolic rainbow that had repeatedly shouted to me driving back to LI from my mother’s funeral in CT in 2001 again arched extended from north to south and remained for good ten minutes reassuring me that indeed connection is possible.