A big part of growing up today is smiling.
Smiling at whatever life is right now.
Especially the things that bother and annoy.
What extra time and energy I have.
To marvel at the miracle of existence.
Recalling the Currency
We have forgotten it in this new world
Where trading is in the tangibles
One day our heart swells uncomfortably in our chest
Or tears come embarrassingly out of nowhere
For a song or an image or an undeserved kindness
We, unsure why
May plan a life and
Work hard to cover the discomfort of the something
Tugging from our forgotten past
Yet, always in the end
We will recall the currency of love and invisible miracles
While chopping vegetables for dinner
I was stunned into silence by the celery
Its green parallel lines and majestic shape
And, then, the perfection of the turkey
Moved me to tears (or was it the intricacies of the onion?)
After that, I admired the plump cranberries
And, then, the cherries on the cake
Even the totally impressive appearance
Of the salt and sage
I handled every ingredient with tenderness
But had to stop and ask for help
To do the same with those
Who came to eat
(It’s easier to love celery, even if I wasn’t celery in a former life. Vegetables, fruits, animals, and birds are easier to love because they usually don’t challenge my ego. I guess, if I want to do better in this life, I will have to do better at ego-less living.)
Today, I heard myself thinking, “I don’t know what my life is about.” This thought is always accompanied by a sigh and maybe a little depression. But, today, right after the sigh, someone asked me to help them. As I did, my confusion cleared. “Oh yeah, I forgot. I’m here to be kind.”
Emily Dickinson said so.
Be generous in prosperity and thankful in adversity.
Be fair in judgment and guarded in your speech.
Be a lamp to those who walk in darkness and a home to the stranger.
Be eyes to the blind and a guiding light to the feet of the erring.
Be a breath of life to the body of humankind,
A dew to the soil of the human heart and a fruit upon the tree of humility
To make these words more than a beautiful sentiment, I say it as a personal commitment:
I am generous in prosperity and thankful in adversity. I am fair in judgment and guarded in my speech…I am a breath of life to the body of humankind, a dew to the soil of the human heart and a fruit upon the tree of humility.
When life confuses or defeats me
I can listen to dark voices
Of anger and despair
Or to the voices that call
Out of the darkest places
Or from the other side
Voices that still sing
A chorus of power
With shining eyes
Heads held high, defying
The worst that life can bring
A voice of triumph
Singing, yes! singing
In mysterious harmony
With my future