The Right to Choose

To begin, to start, to create, to undertake,
To grow, to promise, to increase, to generate.
All these are our birthright.
As we are created, so may we create.

The ability and the choice to create is sacred.
To withdraw that chance from any person without their permission
Would be a violent act, the cutting off of life itself.

A single powerful red-orange flame glows in the darkness around it.

And yet, as precious is the right to simply not.
To end, to terminate, to stop, to discontinue,
To rest, to hibernate, to impede, to prevent.
These, too, are our birthright.

For without consent, our ability to create
becomes not a blessing, but a burden and an imposition.
Without space for a “no,” there can be no trustworthy “yes.”

Today, we come to this holy place and time,
Ready to invoke the divine, to make space for the sacred,
To co-create community once again.
This too is a choice,
you cannot, you may not,
be coerced into relationship with the holy or with one another.
I invite you, I ask you to join us.
I respect it if you will not, today, or ever.

More sacred than any other individual need, is Choice,
The right to know oneself.
The right to know what you are ready for, what you need,
to stretch when you can,
to pause when you will,
to know your body, your mind, your spirit better than anyone else.
And ultimately,

to be trusted with the responsibility of your own living.