Today, we celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King. When I was a freshman in college, my assigned big sister took a leave from her last year to be part of the marches for civil rights with Dr. King.
She came back a changed person. She was excited by the possibilities of the changes that were coming about. We spent long hours talking about what she had seen and how she had felt. She finished her degree, and we parted as best friends and stayed in touch.
The last time I saw her was in New York for dinner. I was there to visit the United Nations with my political science class as part of project.
It was in the winter, and when we were served our salads, she looked at the tomatoes and said: "I hate anemic tomatoes!" She pushed them aside, as did I.
We talked and talked until the wee hours of the morning. It was clear to me that she was upset and disillusioned by life. Life like those tomatoes became anemic for her. That summer, when I got home from college, I learned that she had committed suicide.
I think of her often, and even more so on Martin Luther King day...
My favorite quote by Dr. King, reminds me of her and our talks and wishes, and reflects our philosophy:
"Join with the Earth and each other, to bring new life to the land, to restore the waters, to refresh the air, to renew the forests, to care for the plants,
to protect the creatures, to celebrate the seas, to rejoice in the sunlight, to sing the song of the stars, to recall our destiny, to renew our spirits, to reinvigorate our bodies,
to recreate the human community, to promote justice and peace, to love our children and love one another, to join together as many and diverse expressions of one loving mystery, for the healing of the Earth and the renewal of all life."
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.