Last night I joined other Portlanders at the airport on the eve of a Snow Moon. It is the full moon named for its brightness and clarity during the cold, snowy months of February.  We were there to welcome a family of refugees with signs, flowers, small gift sand candy – with open and outstretchedarms.. 

We waited patiently…and then they appeared amid shouts of joy and excitement from all of us.

We greeted a timid, petite family from Bhutan. The tired mother accompanied her two children smiling - her eyes shining bright. Brown eyes sparkling through her tears, joyful in expectation of a better life.

And then I started to cry and grabbed the hands of strangers around me. Tears in my eyes for their journey, their struggle and of their opportunity in America.  Tears for all those before them including our parents and grandparents. They stood safe for the moment within the kindness of those who welcomed them.

And then we clapped and shouted "welcome!"  We embraced them in a cloud of warmth.  And in her broken English she whispered,  "thank you."

Driving home I looked up at the Snow Moon.  Full of expectation.  And I hoped that our kindness at the airport would be the mantra for all of us as we welcome outsiders with kindness, respect and humility.  They traveled far for the promise of America.  Let us show them our compassion and deliver and extend hope through kindness and a better tomorrow. 

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Snow Moon

I look up…

A February full moon. The Snow Moon.

Bright. Crystal clarity.

And just for a moment, my breath stops.

Moon beams warm my heart,

with truth…of hope and innocence.