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The Good Company we Keep

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


“Satsanga, in Sanskrit language, means  “the company of the wise” and is considered the way to attaining the absolute good in our lives.   Another way of looking at is to consider the idea that the company of good people./ beings, that we keep,  acts as an antidote for all the things that pull us away from our own joy, our own inherent goodness, from feeling that we are connected, we belong,  we matter and our actions make a difference.    I’ve always thought that if people measured my value by the company I keep, I would be considered a bazillionaire.   Just after Christmas a friend was visiting and was in awe of our bird feeder (it is a dandy this year thanks to Carson Phillips – a student from JDH who built it , and my husband who takes the time to create a space for the good company of birds to gather and eat outside our living room window.) .Throughout the holidays we have had hundreds of Redpolls gathering  at our feeders and it is a beautiful site to behold.  My friend Peter took some incredible close ups of these birds and when he showed me the pictures, they took my breath away.  These beautiful little beings are such good company. They are delightful,  colourful, and acrobatic as they flit around.  And they sure can share the space.  A girl can’t help but feel happy in the company of these birds.   Some times good company can come in the form of a good book, or some beautiful music.  And of course it can come in the friends that we have.  Since 1989 my friends and I have been gathering to bring in the New Year at someone’s home.  This year there were 23 adults and 13 kids ranging in age from 4 – 70+. Each year we gather and all bring really really good food.. (seriously,  really good food).  We eat, we play games, we do puzzles, some years we walk, ski or toboggan, we do a gift exchange based on drawing names, we have a group journal that we all write and draw in, we take pictures, we chat, we play music and sing for hours and we bring in the New Year together.  Every year I feel like I start off the New Year with inspiring, caring, creative, generous and kind people and it  sets the tone for the year to come. We all need good company in our lives.   I can’t help but wonder if the people who broke into the wolf enclosure at the Haliburton Forest think about these kinds of ideas.  Those  wolves have been together in that home for their entire lives…. They are each other’s good company in their own way.   It breaks my heart to know that the male was killed (probably) and that the other wolves are trying to find their way back into the enclosure and to their home and pack.  It is hard to understand why things like this, and other tragedies happen, One thing I do know is that we all have to keep working for the good in our little ways in our own little lives.  And everyone needs company in one way or another. 

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