A silence slipping around like death, Yet chased by a whisper, a sigh, a breath, One group of trees, lean, naked and cold, Inking their crest ‘gainst a sky green-gold, One path that knows where the corn flowers were; Lonely, apart, unyielding, one fir; And over it softly leaning down, One star that I loved ere the fields went brown. ~Angelina Weld Grimke “A Winter Twilight”
I am astonished at my thirstiness slaked by such simple things as a moment of pink, a burst of birdsong, a cat balancing on a fence rail, a focal fir that stands unyielding on a hill top, a glimpse of tomorrow over the horizon of today.
It is your birthday and there are many presents to open.The world is to be opened.
You are alive. It needn’t have been so. It wasn’t so once, and will not be forever. But it is so now.
And what is it like:
to be alive in this one place of all places anywhere where life is?
Live a day of it and see.
Take any day and LIVE IT.
Nobody claims that it will be entirely painless, but no matter.
It is the first day because it has never been before
and the last day because it will never be again.
BE ALIVE. ~Frederick Buechner from The Alphabet of Grace
Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it. ~Mary Oliver from Red Bird
To do the useful thing,
to say the courageous thing,
to contemplate the beautiful thing:
that is enough for one man’s life. ― T.S. Eliot, The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism
During these turbulent times
(and there have been many in my 63 years)
when too many regret living and quit,
when too many are deprived of even taking a first breath,
when too many live life shrouded in pain and sorrow~
I tend to forget each day is a gift to be opened and savored.
Each day a first day, a last day, a birthday of amazing grace.
I myself was never expected to be:
seven years of my parents wanting and not conceiving.
The papers to adopt a baby boy were ready to sign
when my mother began feeling sick in the mornings
and she celebrated her misery.
I think now of that baby boy and wonder whose arms took him in
when I unexpectedly came and filled my parents’.
I am alive, by God,
it needn’t have been so, but is so now.
I don’t want to waste a moment of astonishment
and breathe each breath, amazed.
A fine rain was falling, and the landscape was that of autumn. The sky was hung with various shades of gray, and mists hovered about the distant mountains – a melancholy nature. Every landscape is, as it were, a state of the soul, and whoever penetrates into both is astonished to find how much likeness there is in each detail. ~Henri Frederic Amiel
What is melancholy
at first glance
when studied up close.
It isn’t all sadness~
there is solace in knowing
the landscape and I share
an inner world of tears.