“He who does not know his way to the sea should take a river for his guide.” – Blaise Pascal
“The sun shines not on us but in us. The Rivers flow not past, but through us.” – John Muir
As the river bends, may you turn gently, washing over rocks, flowing with ease.
As the trees sway to the wind without breaking, may you bend, dancing in the breeze.
Standing knee deep in the river of life, finding joy in ordinary days.
Witness and participate.
Enter the song, the poem, the dance of grace, beauty and light.
The winding river flowing to the sea.
“Blessed are the hearts that can bend; they shall never be broken.” – Albert Camus
“Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.” – Guillaume Apollinaire
“It’s not only moving that creates new starting points. Sometimes all it takes is a subtle shift in perspective, an opening of the mind, an intentional pause and reset, or a new route to start to see new options and new possibilities.” – Kristin Armstrong
Take a field trip today.
No permission slip needed.
Go somewhere close, a place you pass each day but don’t notice.
A path into the woods, a bench by water, your back yard.
Look at the same and familiar with fresh eyes, open arms and listening ears.
This place, this timeout, this detour is where gratitude waits to be found.
Where the present moment resides.
Listen, look and receive.
Life is happening now amidst imperfections, distractions and delays.
Pause long enough to be in it and be quenched by enough.
Weave awe into the fabric of your life in the place you are right now.
“Silence is the pause in me when I am near to God.” – Arvo Part
“If you get simple beauty and naught else, you get about the best thing God invents.” – Robert Browning
May you be swept away daily in beauty abound.
To be reminded of the expanse and depth in awakening.
To enter the flow of the river of life.
To be held in awe and gratitude, in possibility and beauty.
Glorious moments in ordinary days.
By Alfred Lord Tennyson
“I come from haunts of coot and hern, I make a sudden sally And sparkle out among the fern, To bicker down a valley.
By thirty hills I hurry down, Or slip between the ridges, By twenty thorpes, a little town, And half a hundred bridges.
Till last by Philip’s farm I flow To join the brimming river, For men may come and men may go, But I go on for ever.
I chatter over stony ways, In little sharps and trebles, I bubble into eddying bays, I babble on the pebbles.
With many a curve my banks I fret By many a field and fallow, And many a fairy foreland set With willow-weed and mallow.
I chatter, chatter, as I flow To join the brimming river, For men may come and men may go, But I go on for ever.
I wind about, and in and out, With here a blossom sailing, And here and there a lusty trout, And here and there a grayling,
And here and there a foamy flake Upon me, as I travel With many a silvery waterbreak Above the golden gravel,
And draw them all along, and flow To join the brimming river For men may come and men may go, But I go on for ever.
I steal by lawns and grassy plots, I slide by hazel covers; I move the sweet forget-me-nots That grow for happy lovers.
I slip, I slide, I gloom, I glance, Among my skimming swallows; I make the netted sunbeam dance Against my sandy shallows.
I murmur under moon and stars In brambly wildernesses; I linger by my shingly bars; I loiter round my cresses;
And out again I curve and flow To join the brimming river, For men may come and men may go, But I go on for ever”
“We know we cannot plant seeds with closed fists. To sow, we must open our hands.” – Adolfo Perez Esquivel
“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson
On the path of activities, conversations, in thoughts, what seeds will you plant today?
What will you leave behind?
Kind words, gratitude, joy, laughter, an embrace, listening, asking, smiling, singing, tears, letting go, holding on, poetry, nature, play, quiet reflection.
Our thoughts, words and actions plant seeds today for harvest in our tomorrows.
Plant, nurture and harvest.
Some seeds will land on fertile soil and some on rock.
Cast seeds, cast light.
“What we plant in the soil of contemplation, we shall reap in the harvest of action.” – Meister Eckhart
“Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.” – Henry David Thoreau
“Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.” – Henri J.M Nouwen
Ease softly into the day. Set a cadence and pace. Realize your power over what you can actually influence and guide. Slow down and set the rhythm for your life.
In a world that promotes, rewards and reveres more, faster and never enough, do not succumb to the wide road, the expected path. Make your own your choices. Savor more and speed less. Steady joy over spirts of adrenaline. The journey over the race.
The narrow path.
Slow down. Choose joy. Daily.
“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” – Mahatma Gandhi
“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” – Albert Einstein
The Peace of Wild Things
by Wendell Berry
“When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.”
Open and receive the grace woven in stillness, quiet and rest.
Without effort or forethought of grief.
A holy sacred place, inviting all in.
Enter the peace of the wild things to awaken to the breath, depth and presence of life.
“Blue thou art, intensely blue; Flower, whence came thy dazzling hue?” – James Montgomery
“Ye stars! which are the poetry of heaven!” – Lord Byron
Stop and look closely at the last few flowers of summer holding out a bit longer.
A brilliant pink star bursting from a purple morning glory demanding attention and awe.
Deep color, hue, richness, texture, works of art all around.
Layers, patterns, complexity.
Ingredients surround us daily to shake us awake.
Break complacency, see the brilliance.
Take nothing for granted.
Life is residing in the ordinary, beautiful details of each day.
“To understand is to perceive patterns.” – Isaiah Berlin
“A thing of beauty is a joy forever: its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness.” – John Keats
“Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.” – Karl Barth
Allow joy to enter this day and permeate your thoughts, words and actions.
Capture and give it away.
Embrace and be held.
In the ordinary.
In a walk.
In flowers and fields.
Wide open spaces abound.
Joy. Gratitude. Beauty.
Choose your focus, change your life.
“Beauty is whatever gives joy.” – Edna St. Vincent Millay
“God is the place where I do not remember the rest.” – Joseph Joubert
A BLESSING FOR BEING HUMAN
“Blessed are we, living in this small space, in these bodies we now inhabit, within the walls of circumstance, in these short years and finite strength, and with these eyes that see only so far. We are fragile, contingent beings.
Yet blessed are we, recognizing that it is our limits as well as our gifts that can shape the natural contours of what is possible, that guide us to what is ours to do.
Blessed are we when it is not our greatness that speaks, but our littleness. For it is our vulnerability that is the truest thing about us, the place where mutual connection is possible, where competition ends and community begins.
And oh how blessed are we in our fragility and dependence and brokenness, knowing that You, O God, hold all things together. There is no cure for being human…but for each other, we are all good medicine.” – Kate Bowler
May you be blessed today and each day with awareness and gratitude for the gift of being human and the grace of God in the midst of all of it.