our natural-hearted ways

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We fist up to weather the days, though no one told us it has to be this way. We just constrict to keep what is tender from being hurt. If blessed, we crack and are pried open anyway, till the heart like an oyster shows its softness. Opened by time, I am more fallible, more humble, able to trip more easily into joy. Who would have guessed that the softness between us glitters like the stardust that it is. Who would have guessed that offering what is tender is what saves us.    ~Mark Nepo

we can have these moments so pure, so clear, so rare……the gift is to allow them to inform our deep despair……

inquiry for today~    what shifts in the light of calm and beauty?

sometimes it’s all just so nice

I don’t know where prayers go,
or what they do.
Do cats pray, while they sleep
half-asleep in the sun?
Does the opossum pray as it
crosses the street?
The sunflowers? The old black oak
growing older every year?
I know I can walk through the world,
along the shore or under the trees,
with my mind filled with things
of little importance, in full
self-attendance.  A condition I can’t really
call being alive.
Is a prayer a gift, or a petition,
or does it matter?
The sunflowers blaze, maybe that’s their way.
Maybe the cats are sound asleep.  Maybe not.

While I was thinking this I happened to be standing
just outside my door, with my notebook open,
which is the way I begin every morning.
Then a wren in the privet began to sing.
He was positively drenched in enthusiasm,
I don’t know why.  And yet, why not.
I wouldn’t persuade you from whatever you believe
or whatever you don’t.  That’s your business.
But I thought, of the wren’s singing, what could this be
if it isn’t a prayer?

~Mary Oliver

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