Hope Montgomery is an artist, musician, program director for a Methodist summer camp in Oregon, and process theologian in its theopoetic tradition. Her video evokes a sense of our human embeddedness in the more than human world, the impermanence of life, the mutual becoming of all things, and the soft hope that something light-filled is arriving.
The song is addressed to a loved one, a mysterious presence named Atlas, who may well carry the world on his shoulders. But aren't we all loved ones? Don't we all have a little Atlas inside our hearts?
For me, the song speaks to the hope of so many who yearn for a new kind of world: a world filled with compassionate communities that are creative, kind, participatory, good for people and good for the earth, with no one left behind. This is the hope of which another process theologian and Methodist minister with whom Hope is familiar: John Cobb. And it is the hope of Cobb Institute: A Community for Process and Practice. John Cobb and others at the Cobb Institute speak of these communities as a new and life-nourishing way of being human: in their words, an Ecological Civilization. Indeed, Ecological Civilization is also the hope of Camp Magruder with its outdoor ministries. Part of the camp's mission is "to help people develop lifestyles of loving interdependence with each other and all of creation."
In the language of Hope's song, part of its mission is to help people grow into solstice-like love that remembers the rain, the salt in the veins, and, yes, the salt in the wounds; knowing that all are bound in a life-giving light. This healing light is the very light to which Jesus was open in his healing ministry: the light of Abba.
Our task is to be open to this light, too. Hope Montgomery sings us into this hope. I visited with her about the song and we reflected upon the work and mission of the Cobb Institute. She offers the song and video to all who seek to be open to the light and also to John Cobb and the Cobb Institute.
-- Jay McDaniel
With your feet on the ground You’re singing aloud You breathe easily You’re climbing the trees You’re telling me You can see everything
The solstice, my love, The signs from above Remember the tide and moon The solstice is coming soon
Be patient, my love There’s no need to rush There’s no urgency The days are still long, So, Atlas, stay strong There’s growth we can’t see
Remember the rain, The salt in your veins Remember the salt in your wounds The solstice is coming soon
Stay up all day And part of the night Teach me the [ancient] songs And soak up the light
The solstice, my love, The signs from above Remember the tide and moon The solstice is coming soon Remember the rain, The salt in your veins Remember the salt in your wounds The solstice is coming soon
More by Hope Montgomery
Hope is a positive and potent spiritual practice with the power to pull us through difficult times. It is usually described with light metaphors — a ray, a beam, a glimmer of hope; the break in the clouds; the light at the end of the dark tunnel. It is often discovered in unexpected places.
Hope can be learned with practice. Certain attitudes support it. One is patience, an ability to tolerate delays, a willingness to let events unfold in their own time. The other is courage, an attitude of confidence even when facing the unknown. A third is persistence, the determination to keep going no matter what happens. We have hope when we can say, all will be well, and we mean it.
- Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat in Spirituality and Practice