Wednesday, September 30, 2020

The calm of being

This, just this: the calm of knowing 
That we are right where we are meant to be, 
Doing what we were created to do; 
Working with the last breath within us 
To protect and defend 
What is real, what is true, what is enduring, 
What will take us where we need to go, 
Teach us what we need to know, 
And always bring us home again to love.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Light in every cell

Mary Oliver tells us 
Of the light at the center of every cell, 
That which keeps us moving forward; 
Which lifts the simplest endeavors up 
And carries us when we lose our way; 
Which connects us, each to each, 
And fuels our compassion for the other. 
Call on that light, and breathe it: 
Breathe it in to refresh your soul, 
Then breathe it out to help heal the world.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Choosing light

Just as every light must cast its shadow, 
We must remember and be reassured 
That for every shadow that is cast 
There must, somewhere, be a light. 
Remembering, we can choose 
To dwell in darkness or in light.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Settle into stillness

I hope you find some time today to rest; 
To set aside your projects 
And your plans and simply breathe; 
To settle into stillness and let cares fall away; 
To let the beauty of the day nourish your soul.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Practicing patience

That which, from a distance, looked appealing, 
May, on closer scrutiny, prove imperfect. 
Don’t settle for less than you deserve, 
But keep moving forward, 
Working toward the prize: 
With patience and a willingness 
To delay gratification, 
You’ll ultimately reach 
 That which truly feeds your soul.

Friday, September 25, 2020

The origin of compassion

In order to act with compassion, 
We must first allow ourselves to feel 
Both our own pain and the pain of others; 
Both those encircled by our love 
And those outside it,
Whose choices, reasoning and experience 
We find it difficult or impossible to comprehend. 
We start by remembering how much of life — 
The longings and the losses, 
The birth and death, the earth we walk, 
And the very air we breathe — 
Is common to us all.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Awaiting our awakening

Just as a mama keeps watch 
While her babies are sleeping, 
There is Someone — 
or Something, if you prefer — 
Keeping watch over us, 
Patiently awaiting our awakening.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Responding to the challenges of change

So much of what we experience these days 
Is unfamiliar, challenging, even scary: 
The masks, the social distancing; 
The fires and the smoke; 
The conflicting claims of our news sources; 
The once frequented services now gone, 
Or changed almost beyond recognition... 
Each of us is called to adapt; no one excepted, 
And how do we respond? 
Hopefully with humility, patience, creativity, 
And above all understanding 
 That we’re all in this together, 
And not one of us finds it easy to adapt.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

You are not alone

There will be days 
When past and future lie in fog; 
When all we know is how alone, 
And how bereft we feel. 
Do not despair, but take this opportunity 
 To deepen your connection 
To the earth that carries you, 
And the roots that feed you. 
With time the fog will lift and once again 
You’ll find you are surrounded 
By a community of saints.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Lessons in the mountain

The mountain in the distance 
Speaks its eternal truths, 
Reminding us of the power of presence. 
Lift your eyes and know the value 
Of silence and simplicity; 
Of true friends, of family and community; 
Of your own gifts and contribution, 
However under-rewarded they may be. 
Like the mountain, we are created, we are loved, 
And we’re connected to the earth and one another 
In ways we’re only beginning to understand. 
Look upon the mountain, and know peace.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

In gratitude for teachers

Today we bow our heads in gratitude 
For all who work to help us understand 
The beauty of complexity;
The richness of a life that’s blessed 
With a variety of colors and textures; 
Who encourage us to reach beyond the familiar 
And teach us to appreciate, 
Embrace, and learn from differences.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Imagine and work toward a better world

It's easy, in times like these, to imagine the worst.
Why not apply that creative power more productively,
Envisioning and working toward
A more positive and beneficial outcome?
Think of this as an opportunity
To channel that unnameable, untameable
Essence of the Divine that lives within you,
Toward birthing and ensuring a better world!

Friday, September 18, 2020

From fear to fuel

There are skills and strengths, 
Barriers and bylaws we developed 
To get us through the tough times in our lives. 
But how are they working for us now? 
Are they protective,or simply insulation; 
Keeping us from seeing, feeling, and growing; 
Interrupting the flow of fresh ideas? 
Is it time to let them go? 
Can we relax, center down, 
 Feel that fear we have of change, 
 And release it, converting it to fuel 
For our creativity and our service to the world?

Thursday, September 17, 2020

A softening of heart

We may claim to be open, 
And project an open stance, 
But a closer look reveals a heart enclosed; 
Guarded, protected, hardened; 
Steeled against the possibility 
That whatever truths we know 
Might be flawed, and our imperfections 
In contemplation/meditation we can learn 
To soften those harsh barriers, 
Acknowledge and accept those imperfections, 
And in learning to love ourselves, 
Relax our guard and connect more readily 
With others.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

A web of sharing

Look closely: you will see 
That like the apples in this tree, 
We are connected by a growing web of wonder: 
Each of us delicious, juicy, ripening daily, 
Born to feed the hearts and souls 
Of those who hunger for the flavor, 
The color, and the light we’re born to share.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

The colors of peace

A week ago, as you see here, 
The smoky haze was light, 
And served to heighten the colors of the sunset. 
Now the haze is so thick we no longer see the sun, 
And our skies are a dark relentless sea of gray: 
It’s hard to tell the daytime from the night. 
A little smoke, like a little conflict, 
Might add color to our days, 
But too much smoke, like too much conflict, 
Drains our lives of color. 
It’s time to douse the fires of hate: 
What could we do today to work toward peace?

Monday, September 14, 2020

A beacon of possibility

However dark and complex 
The world in which we find ourselves may be, 
We still carry the capacity within us 
For clarity and light. 
Let it shine forth: you can choose to be 
A beacon of hope and trust; 
A reminder of possibilities 
In a bleak and troubled time.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

What and when will we learn?

The distant mountains and the sun
Have disappeared in a haze of smoke. 
All that we strive toward, all that lights our days, 
Obscured — hopefully not forever — 
By our foolish disregard for the earth, 
 By our own thoughtless choices, 
Making it difficult to breathe. 
This, too, shall pass, but will it leave us any wiser?
What will we have learned, 
 And how will we be changed for the better?

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Feeling protective

Like a pup with a new or forbidden toy, 
We cling to our possessions and accomplishments, 
Worrying that sharing might be 
Synonymous with loss. 
When will we learn that giving 
Isn’t giving up or giving in 
But simply the most effective means 
Of bringing love into our lives?

Friday, September 11, 2020

Grounded in assurance

In every life there will fall both hills and valleys;
Moments of exaltation and of terror; 
Seasons when we’re most conscious 
 Of fullness, or of loss; 
Opportunities for hope and remorse — 
Each has its time. 
Our challenge is both to feel and know 
Where we are in each moment 
While remaining aware that this feeling, 
Like this moment, will pass; 
To stay grounded in assurance 
Of that which is timeless and unchanging.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Rosy blessings

Ripe and crimson as a cherry or a rose hip, 
The smoke-reddened sun climbs above my fig tree, 
Beaming as it blesses and ripens the fruit. 
How can we keep our center 
When all about us are losing theirs? 
Perhaps by staying focused 
 On what goodness we might find 
And what kindness and blessings we might share...

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Ripening with age

The rose and cherry, once past their bloom, 
Still find new ways to bless the world: 
Their initial beauty ripens into fruit and flavor. 
May we as humans do the same, 
Sharing the wisdom, the taste of the divine, 
That ripens with age and experience.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

A challenge to breathe

There will be days, apparently, 
When the smoke from other fires 
Makes it hard to breathe; 
A not so subtle reminder 
 That (a) we’re all connected, 
And (b) it could be so much worse — 
We could be losing our homes to fire, 
Instead of merely struggling to breathe, 
And (c) there are those for whom 
Each breath will be a challenge. 
Do what you can to help, 
And may you find fresh air somewhere in your day.

Monday, September 7, 2020

A light unto the world

This is the work: 
To find, and keep, and breathe into our center, 
That what wisdom lives in that still space 
May find its subtle way into the world 
And light a path to truth others might follow. 
Stay calm and breathe; 
Keep finding your way back to what you know, 
Deep in your heart, and let it emanate: 
Breathe deep, breathe out the light, 
And breathe again. We _can_ make a difference.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

The solution lies within you

Wherever it is that you find yourself, 
However complex or uncomfortable, 
You can still see it as an opportunity 
To bring your own unique notions 
Of structure and creativity to bear. 
Look around you and learn; 
See how others are turning 
 Crises to opportunity. 
Dig deep; the solutions are there inside you, 
Waiting to be unearthed and spun into light.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Stronger than we realize

The currents of life 
Have made you stronger than you realize: 
Take courage, take up your burdens; 
We will get through this.

Friday, September 4, 2020

A change in perspective

What’s invisible from above 
May be more obvious from below: 
There will be days when the only way 
To catch sight of the fruits of our labors 
Will be to get down on our knees...

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Setting a course for truth

Those clouds on the horizon, 
Adding drama to the scene, will pass away. 
The currents in the water, too, will shift. 
But the mountains in the distance, 
Glowing golden in the morning light, 
Will hold our focus steady as we sail into the future. 
Keep your eye on what you know is real and true —
Honesty, compassion, generosity, integrity — 
And know they’ll hold us resolute on course.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Longing to hunker down

How can we stay present 
To what’s here, what’s now, 
When every cell within us is asking, 
“What next? 
What’s the next catastrophe heading this way, 
And how can I prepare? What must we do?” 
With no clear path before us, 
We long to hunker down 
And just wait out the coming storm; 
Whatever lies in wait on the horizon.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Distilling and distorting

Like the bee, in his perennial search for nectar, 
We humans seek impressions, 
Then mix them with our own unique presumptions,
Carrying them back to the tribe, 
Where, working together, 
We distill them into palatable truths, 
Forgetting how much larger, 
More complex and more authentic is the source.