autumn garden

Well! I wasn't "here" very much over the summer. A lot of my word energy over the past few months went into plain old talking, and all my writing energy has been going into taking notes in meetings and study groups and seminars, email letters and online conversations, curriculum creation and work projects, and the rare teeny tiny comment here or there or elsewhere.

But now it is autumn (here is a longer piece on autumn, which also includes some beautiful quotations I gathered from various places), and it's time to sort through what's been harvested from the seasons of overflowing abundance, culling and polishing that which is worth keeping, and letting go the rest. Autumn in the Taoist 5-Phases perspective is the season of beauty, and inspiration, of grief and letting go, and appreciation of what's precious.

Today I'm moved back into the blog realm to commemorate the passing a week ago of a sweet friend and colleague, Steve Habib Rose, who was a dear friend to hundreds of people around here, and all over the world.

Habib was also a devoted and masterful networker and neighbor. In January, some of his close friends convened a gathering to celebrate and honor Habib in a unique way -- by discussing in council our experiences of Habib's gifts and talents, as a way of helping him to discern next steps in finding his own right livelihood. Around 50 people came together for a potluck meal in the community center that evening, and then sat in a big circle to hear and share experiences of Habib's work in the world. So many people related stories of Habib helping them to find work or housing or community by listening to them with with exquisite kindness and attention over tea or lunch, and then introducing them to just the right person or organization, or giving them information or a place to sleep or some other valuable thing. In one story, Habib gave a friend a camera so that the friend could document his peace-mission trip to Iraq. Habib and his beloved wife Elaine got to sit and receive all the stories and appreciation. Then we broke into smaller groups to brainstorm and collate more connections and possibilities and suggestions for Habib's job search. I think that as a job search modality it was clarifying and affirming and somewhat helpful, but certainly the greater value of the evening was the opportunity to lovingly and fully celebrate a friend who has given so generously to so many people. Many of us saw friends that night whom we hadn't realized also knew Habib, he moved in so many circles.

There are many reflections being posted at WISERearth, in the discussion group called "Habib's Garden."

Habib grew up Jewish and then converted to being a Sufi Muslim as an adult (and his wife is Buddhist). He received the perfect Sufi name from his teacher: "Habib" means "friend" in Arabic.