the gifted moment


Over time, if we’re paying attention, if we are given enough days on this beautiful earth. . . . many of the certainties we were taught, much of what we were so sure of when we were young. . . falls away.

I’ll admit it- some days I miss the certainty. I don’t miss the beliefs or ways of seeing that separated me from what was true and sometimes hard within and around me, but some days I feel a little nostalgic for that wonderful confident sense of standing on solid ground, however delusional that might have been.

Or maybe I’m just missing being young enough that my energy feels so infinite I take it for granted.

It can be tempting to stop taking chances when we realize how small and brief and biodegradable we are, when we see how little we control, when we experience how loss and searing pain can bring us to our knees.

But it’s a package deal- this life we are given. No risk, no loss, no sorrow means not being able to feel joy, to love and be loved. And the risks are real. We will fall, and some things (hearts, bones, promises, plans, relationships. . . .) will be broken. And there may be times when we will feel as if even that which seemed unbreakable- spirit, soul, love- has been shattered.

Perhaps nothing of what we think we are is unbreakable.

And yet. . . . everyday life calls to me, saying, “Live!”

The taste of a sun-ripened peach, laughing with my sons as I careen awkwardly around wearing a Virtual Reality headset (a truly comical scene,) the hand that reaches out as we help another or are helped ourselves to get up again and again. . . . these things are as true as any certainty I’ve ever had.

Every morning, my grandfather said with a tone of resigned anticipation, “Another day, another dollar.”

I used to live as if my inner morning salutation was, “Another day, another chance to get it right”- a set-up if ever there was one.

Now, when I open my eyes in morning, I think, “Another day. . . .” and on a good morning, on a morning when I can let the sound of the wind through the leaves of the tree beside my window find me, when I can feel the slight pause at the end of my exhale, before the next inhale breathes me into being, I whisper into the pre-dawn light, “Thank you.”

~Oriah Mountain Dreamer

do you remember when the light was not about how much time we have left?

inquiry for today~ allow a poem to feed you, to guide you, to seize you into reverie, to invite you to try again……

Inside an open rose
A tree frog
no bigger
than my thumbnail.
I try to imagine
rest like that,
in such a bed of petals.
I try to imagine
prayer like that,
so intently
in the early light
saying so little.

~Bernardo Taiz


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