The roots of both words, cultivate and relate, bear the quality of tending to and taking care of. The roots of relate come through Latin relatus: re back, again + lātus borne: carried. In other words, “to carry again and again and again.” Cultivate comes from the Latin, cultivus: tilled, and colere: to cultivate, till; inhabit; frequent; respect; tend, guard. So together one can glean the sense that cultivating a relationship involves breaking up clumps found the ground traveled and making a conscious effort to keep the heart space of the relationship free of clumps. It is also an ever-repeating process of carrying and caring for.
All real living is meeting.
The moment we cease to hold each other, the moment we break faith with one another, the sea engulfs us, and the light goes out.
of a great need
we are all holding hands and climbing.
Not loving is a letting go. Listen,
the terrain around here is
Building community is to the collective as spiritual practice is to the individual.
~Grace Lee Boggs
We are like aspen trees – who have mistakenly thought that since we look like many trees that is the truth – but under the ground, our root system is one – we are fully alive when we are connected because we are, we were always, part of one another.
~Rev. Hilary Krivchenia
The ancient question, “Who am I?” inevitably leads to a deeper one: “Whose am I?” – because there is not identity outside of relationship. You cannot be a person by yourself. To ask “Whose am I” is to extend the question far beyond the little self- absorbed self, and wonder: Who needs you? Who loves you? To whom are you accountable? To whom do you answer? Whose life is altered by your choices? With whose life, whose lives is your own all bound up, inextricably, in obvious or invisible ways?
Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?
~Henry David Thoreau
Rarely, if ever, are any of us healed in isolation. Healing is an act of communion.
My friend is one who knows my song and sings it to me when I forget.
(Curated and adapted for KUF from the 2021 Soul Matters materials for the theme ‘Cultivating Relationships’ by Rev. Beckett Coppola.)