Weeping With the President

Steve Roberts color photo: stone sculpture head of warrior

I often daydream as I ride my tractor, especially when I’m mowing fields, a task deliciously low on intellectual sweat and high on the pleasures of nature.  In yesterday’s daydream I wept uncontrollably upon meeting Barack Obama.  Mr. Obama was the daydream, the weeping was not.

It seems the president was in the neighborhood, though precisely why he was on a dead end dirt road in Vermont remains a mystery, even if there are a few of us who hold that my little town is the center of the universe.  Anyway, apparently one of his aides mentioned to him that the guy who lived on this farm with the stone sculptures wrote a hopeful essay about the president right after the election.  “Mr. Obama and the Consciousness of We” was the title.

Let’s stop and see if we can say hello, the president says.

I’m on the John Deere brush-hogging a hillside dotted with my stone whatchamacallits when I notice Mr. Obama in shirtsleeves, secret service in tow, loping in my direction.

We barely shake hands in my daydream when I start to sob for real (as I’m nearly doing now, writing these words), not in awe of his office or personal charisma, for I am too weather-worn for that, but rather as my heart breaks in recognition of the moment in human affairs in which Mr. Obama is a distinct servant.

“Mr. president, be courageous,” I say with no preamble.  “Follow your heart.  The universe is reminding the human family again and again, ever more insistently, to pay attention, to cultivate reverence.  Reverence for one another, reverence for every choice we make.  Tragedies like the gulf oil spill are not caused by oil companies or the government, but by the consciousness of humankind.  All of us are creating the countless forms of harm we inflict upon one another.  Sadly, many of your predecessors were unable to pay attention, not really.  It’s not that they were disingenuous or stupid, and it certainly had nothing to do with their political affiliation.  They were children.  Their immaturity led them to view everything through the prism of “us and them,” a view born of fear.  They had little, if any, attunement to the wholeness of the human family, the oneness of all life.  For whatever reason you have a larger understanding than most who find themselves in positions of social influence  Trust that understanding.  Be courageous.  Listen to your heart.”

Driving my tractor, I’m crying so hard I can barely get the words out.  In my daydream, the president’s cool.  We’re standing in the field.  He just listens.  He doesn’t try to comfort me.  He knows my tears are not about him, or about me.  They’re about love.  He’s had the same heartbreak himself.

At least in my daydream he has.




  1. Steve, I often daydream about The President. My daydream is to be his (and the White House Staff’s) personal massage therapist. One servant feeding another, and back again.Tangibly helping to feel and let go of this heartache you describe. This is the power of love. You do it well. Thank you!

  2. I too pray for the President’s continued strength and his ability to follow his big heart with all the challenges he is meeting.

  3. In recent shamanic journey work I and others have had animals and the spirit of Gaia express that the oil spill is a wake up call to humanity… thank you for noting the same thing. In fact, that oil is billions of generations coming out to “greet us” in one way, being that it is made up of their bodies, wild huh?

    Love & light… R

  4. I cried the night Barack Obama was elected President. It poured out of me as a deep sense of relief. I did not know at the time, the work was just beginning. I did not know how much he and we would be tested.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

"I honor that we are killing the earth for the same reason I consider being an alcoholic a privilege: it is a doorway to the profound self-understanding required to make truly healthy choices."

The Essay: Honoring the Killing of the Earth