“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.” – Mary Oliver
“Poetry isn’t a profession, it’s a way of life. It’s an empty basket; you put your life into it and make something out of that.” – Mary Oliver
Infuse yourself with nature, fresh air, poetry.
Be made new, spark your imagination, write your story.
Gaze at the sky, allow awe in, be made new.
A blessing that you be awake, aware and paying attention to each moment.
The Summer Day by Mary Oliver
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean–
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down —
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?”
“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” – Marcel Proust
On this day of “2”s – second month, second day, twenty second year – may we be prompted to move out of self into other. To the collective, to us. Expand, seek, reach out, connect with others. Partake on this shared journey, knowing that we are not alone, present for others, listening, walking along side in companionship.
When we cast light, the light shines back on us twofold. Compounding, multiplying, exponential. Go out of self and see other people. Tell them you see them with a smile, a hello, an invitation to go ahead in line, an embrace, a prayer for their well-being.
Kindness, concern, empathy, laughter, joy, understanding open our hearts, expose our souls, extend our hands to a wide world that needs our attention and love, one person at a time.
“Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.” – Mother Teresa
“The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“We shake with joy, we shake with grief. What a time they have, these two housed as they are in the same body.” – Mary Oliver, Endure
Listen to your thoughts and words, where they lead you. Consternation and complaint are pit of quicksand. Hope and light are the path to contentment, peace and joy amidst the struggles. Stop holding your head under water, claiming others are drowning you. Make the daily decision to rest in gratitude, see the good yourself and others, release worry that only steals our days and never affects the outcome or eases pain that comes and goes with loss and change.
Steadfast, continue the journey anchored in hope, looking for light and ready to shake with joy.
The Gift, Mary Oliver, Felicity
“Be still, my soul, and steadfast
Earth and heaven both are still watching
Though time is draining from the clock
And your walk, that was confident and quick,
has become slow.
So, be slow if you must, but let
the heart still play its true part.
Love still as once you loved, deeply
and without patience. Let God and the world
Know you are grateful.
That the gift has been given.”
“Such lovely warmth of thought and delicacy of colour are beyond all praise, and equally beyond all thanks!” – Marie Corelli
“No water, no life. No blue, no green.” – Sylvia Earle
The ice melts from the edges to the center, slowly and with certainty;
With warmth and light, the hardness dissipates into its natural fluid state;
In seasons, cycles and transitions, the hard center holds on longer;
Softening with patience, the edges move to the center bit by bit to break the full surface into the shape of water;
We break open from cracks that allow light in to soften the hardness borne of experience and time;
Allow the cracks to become openings to transform ice to water, rocks to sand;
Soften your heart, uncover your soul and release your spirit;
In the midst of the moment and depths of being, breaking becomes transformation, blessings bloom along side burdens;
We are not our burdens or blessings, we are vessels that carry them;
Separate being from doing;
Detach from effort and outcomes;
Let go of hardness and allow softening;
Let the melt of seasons happen;
Embrace, integrate and continue on;
Openings that transform ice into water.
“Change, when it comes, cracks everything open.” – Dorothy Allison
“O, wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?” – Percy Bysshe Shelley
“Winter is a season of recovery and preparation.” – Paul Theroux
Winter solstice was December 21st.
First day of spring is March 20th.
Light is coming out sooner and lingering longer.
In January, each day offers 90-120 seconds more daylight.
In February, 150 seconds each day as the sun moves higher with March approaching.
We are closer to spring as winter begins its finishing.
The small changes of each day are becoming noticeable.
Seconds turn to minutes, to hours, to days, to a lifetime.
In between “was” and “coming” is “is”
In the process of was and coming is living, progress unfolding in moments.
Do not lose “is” by remaining in “was” or moving too quickly into “coming.”
Each season offers its gifts.
Bask in the warmth of the light.
Grow in the patience of the dark.
“Is” is “it.”
Remain there, embracing the depth, grace and gratitude found in being fully present.
In light within and light surrounding each day.
“The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also.” – Harriet Ann Jacobs
“We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn, which does not forsake us in our soundest sleep. I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.” – Henry David Thoreau
Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, the eve to the beginning of Lent. Also, today many of us celebrate the 9 year anniversary of my cousin Jeanne being cancer-free after one major battle and victory over breast cancer. Each year is a gift. She is a wonderful model – living life with pure joy and authenticity. She elevates her life and others by her presence and contagious enthusiasm. Thanks for the wake up call to enjoy life every day Jeanne!
"The color of springtime is in the flowers; the color of winter is in the imagination." ~Terri Guillemets