Circling the Wagons

For some, there seems to be an impulse now to “circle the wagons.” I was at first willing to see this simply in terms of fear and contraction, but maybe there’s more to it.

I thought of quail, who for safety and protection gather in a circle, facing out. When a threat arises, they flush and startle and are able to remain safe, together.

And what did it originally mean, to circle the wagons? Wasn’t it a communal life affirming act?

And I recall the October 17, 1989 earthquake. And there was certainly a similar response. We gathered together communally for our security – it was a powerful – seemingly almost biologic – urge. We gathered with neighbors in the open courtyards during the day. At night our families felt best all sleeping together in one room. And we did. Our bodies complied with the powerful urge.

And perhaps this is similar to an impending “birth” – a process that can be seen as a crisis – scary, dangerous, messy, bloody, somebody could die, fear and pain is involved – but there’s so much more too. There is a great communal and protective urge too – to celebrate new life but also to join together to nurture and care for this precious new life.

Yesterday I was reading a book where the author (Nancy L. Bieber) wrote that “Something More” is one of her favorite “names” for God, Spirit, Divine, Life, Love . . .  – whatever name we choose to call “it.” And I kind of like the name “so much more.”