And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.
~ John O’Donohue (from ‘Beannacht’)
Today is Thanksgiving. I had a blog written, was posting it yesterday. And last night I watched a Frontline show on PBS about children and hunger in the US. I decided I’d post this morning. Instead, I lingered on Facebook for more than a dash, a rarity these days, and looked at my fellow beings across the globe. And was brought back to the moments of my life. Not the big moments or questions, the little ones that are part of the web that makes a life. And I decided I can only share stories. That the words of two poets and people of great spirit say what’s in my heart better than I can today.
“GRATITUDE is not a passive response to something we have been given, gratitude arises from paying attention, from being awake in the presence of everything that lives within and without us. Gratitude is not necessarily something that is shown after the event, it is the deep, a-priori state of attention that shows we understand and are equal to the gifted nature of life. . . Thankfulness finds its full measure in generosity of presence, both through participation and witness. ~ David Whyte (from “Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words.”
“When we experience the Beautiful, there is a sense of homecoming. Some of our most wonderful memories are of beautiful places where we felt immediately at home. We feel most alive in the presence of the Beautiful for it meets the needs of our soul.” ~ John O’Donohue (from ‘Beauty)
Little things and stories in which I’ve been both participant & witness:
Each morning I walk I’m pinned to this scene as I come down a hill. The wires disappear. I only see the trees bordering the road, their many textures & colors. And the mountains that stretch across the horizon, the wondrous forever sky, that special blue & salmony pink only here in Santa Fe. Each morning, struck with awe.
Part of my walk is across a very green lawn with giant, old trees. At the end, a rose garden. I walk thru the roses when they bloom. In fall, I walk thru fallen leaves that lie like broad yellow skirts around the tree trunks. Even knowing they’re leaves, I think every time I walk on flower petals. I wish you could see how yellow and magical they are.
Throughout the day I stop & gaze out my kitchen window. My view’s to the west and two mountain ranges, the same ones I see coming down the hill. I watched this tree blaze miraculous gold all fall. It held on when others let go. No matter the time of day or light in the sky, it stood out. Was a gift. It’s gone now, but I have this picture that says it all.
Then there’s people .
Sparkly little boy of my heart in Taiwan. Oh, gosh am I thankful for every second I have with him. Even if it’s Skype. Sometimes not for weeks. Even if hugs in person are 2-3 yrs. apart. I’m just lucky. I get him, + pictures he paints and postcards. And I get to send him cards and tiny gifts he keeps in his ‘treasure box.’ He’ll like the lizard & big rhinestone on this one.
And people I touch, who then touch me. Like the woman beside me listening to the symphony, chorus, and soloists from New Voices of Santa Fe Opera perform the ‘Messiah.’ When my heart rose to the heavens with the Hallelujah Chorus, it was all I could do not to sing at the top of my lungs. I mouthed the words, swayed my body. She asked if I was a musician, I felt the music so. Said she was lucky to sit beside me, be part of that energy. Her words, my gift.
And this. . .
I expected a card or perhaps a small painting from Wendy Davis when she said she was sending me something (she’s a wonderful painter). But I pulled this from the box. With a handwritten note, “I saw this mug and thought of you instantly.” The story stretches back 6 years.
That photo’s from a retreat I co-hosted that Wendy attended. Transformative is the word everyone used at the end. I remember thinking what a fine writer & storyteller she is. Now she’s coming in March to the retreat I’m hosting with artist Kendall Sarah Scott. As she packed the box, her Daily Om email popped up. . . with *exactly* what this retreat is about! Angels at work, I say.
Indeed, I’ve learned to notice angels and say Thank You. As when on impulse I look up from writing an important insight. And there across the room is a ball of light in the hands of my statue. A ball of light like a diamond I’ve never seen before or since. That stayed as I retrieved my phone from another room and took pictures, before it stretched out to a line like every other morning.
So, on this Thanksgiving day, I notice the small moments of my days and the big hearts of people. . .the gifted nature of life.
A heart. A seed. A diamond light.
Another small journey. Getting to Wise.
A Writer’s Life
Tell me, what small moments do you notice that you’re present to?
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