Human Spirit

Our physical beings
Are so fragile
So vulnerable
Our physical life
As we have come to know it
Can change instantaneously
A fall
A nearby sneeze
Droplets landing indiscriminately
An infection
Mild or life changing

Any number of circumstances
Most beyond our control
Can end or alter our physical life
At any moment.
Motor vehicle crash, earthquake, war
Homicide, injury, abuse, illness 
And untold others.
As people enter their later years
The physical losses are more evident
Our bodies less resilient
But the human spirit
The Human Spirit 
Inspires awe.

The resolve of rescue workers
In Turkey, Syria, NYC
All over the world
Putting their lives at risk
To spare the suffering of others
Human Spirit.

The courage of the silver-haired man
Making his way unassisted
Across the vast floor of the restaurant
Pushing his walker forward
Dragging his thin, bowed legs
One painful step after another
His right ankle randomly turning under
He ventures forth
Smiling and nodding along the way
His spirit unencumbered
His Human Spirit.

The hurried foot steps
Racing down the hospital stairs
Faces of consternation, determination, trepidation
They descend flight after flight
To the Emergency Department
An energy fills the staircase
An energy of love and compassion
So powerful my heart- filled with awe overflows into my eyes
As I stand back, giving them space 
To respond to the call
“Code Blue.  Pediatric.  ED”
Human Spirit undeterred.

The family
Putting their lives on hold
Being there for their dad
Allowing him to remain home
As he nears the end of his life.
Nearing the end, but living fully
Others helping out 
Lending a hand, baking a bread
Saying a prayer
Day after Day after Week after Month
They labor
Out of duty, out of love
The Human Spirit living on.

The Slave Spirituals
A testament beyond measure
To this Spirit
Not extinguished 
By the evils enacted
Upon them by others
“Swing low, sweet chariot . . .”
Spirit of human beings
Oppressed, enslaved in body
But untethered in spirit
Human Spirit.

Human Spirit
despite enduring
Assault, loss, suffering, unimaginable pain
Human Spirit
Who we are
Within our fragile shells
Deep inside our physical selves
That tiny nugget of hope
The fountain of youth, of love
Our truest selves

When we look on in wonder
Look on in awe
And maybe beautiful disbelief
When our hearts leap
 toward the warmth of the flame of the actions of others,
We are witnessing the power of the Human Spirit
And within that Spirit lies hope for our wounded world!

7 thoughts on “Human Spirit

    1. Thanks, Dave! You were in that picture, but I didn’t want to use without your permission! He was a truly Great Man and I always appreciated the respect, kindness and love you showed to him😀


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