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Posts Tagged ‘blessing’

Small Gratitudes

 

 

 

It was one of those days when the alarm

didn’t go off, and we woke anyway

to a world covered in snow, and

 

by noon the sky was blue. And I drove

right through the construction zone

without being stopped by a flagger.

 

The tomato for breakfast was ripe

and sharp and sweet. And the tea

was strong and black. The radio

 

played only songs I wanted to sing.

My car started. I had no flat tires.

I never felt sick. Never fell. More blessings,

 

it turns out, than a woman can count, though

I try to count them all. And the more

I remember—a good friend called, all

 

ten fingers are intact, my eyes still

see across the room—yes,

the more blessings I consider, the more

 

my joy grows until I am dumbfounded,

gobsmacked by gratitude that’s exactly

the size of the known universe, amazed by

 

how perfectly it fits—as if I were made for this—

right inside my skin.

 

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Sometimes gratitude rises in us

like snowmelt—as if some great cold

has met with stubborn warmth

and now the whole world

roars with the transformation.

 

And sometimes gratitude

touches us more like moonlight,

we can’t truly feel it, but we know

it is there, our being

no longer intimidated by the dark.

 

 

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Beyond Wishing

 

 

 

And when there is fear,

then let us be flowers

unashamed of our blooming,

and let us be rivers undammed.

And when there is loss,

then let us be leaves that surrender to death

and give even more in life.

And when there is ache,

let’s unfold like dawn in layers

and layers of ripening pink,

let’s be bells

that ring only love.

And when there is sorrow,

let us be dark wings

that gather the light,

and let us be the light.

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Autumnal

after William Stafford

When the leaves are about to yellow and fall

ask me then how I tried to hold on to what was green,

how I thought perhaps I was different,

how everything I thought I knew about gold

turned brittle and brown. Ask me what it was like

to fall then. Sometimes the world becomes invisible

and we know ourselves as the world. Sometimes

the only words that can find our lips are thank you,

though the gifts look nothing like anything

we ever thought we wanted.

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Very, Very Quietly

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I did not choose
awe today, but the big
pink sky chose me
and steeped me
in fantastic joy—
a drenching of miracle,
an overdose of amazement,
a wild indulgence of bliss—
oh such pink! layers
of rose and deeper rose,
and I did not earn it,
did not first prove my worthiness,
did not beg nor kneel nor fast
nor renounce my name
nor pull the strings
of the lyre nor sing,
all I had to do
was step outside
out of my own way
and open my eyes
and let myself
be gifted.

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Sometimes I forget
the trees. It’s embarrassing
to admit. Like saying I forget

I have hands. But
days go by when I do not
consider them. And then

some mornings, today,
for instance, the trees,
like an Indian saint

hurling petals at her attendants,
throw their fluffy white catkins
into my hands, my hair,

into my everywhere I look
until everything is baptized
in white cotton down

and I half expect the giant limbs
to pull me into a great gray trunk
and hold me close, whispering

into my ear, in words so quiet
no one else can hear, my daughter,
my daughter, my daughter, my daughter.

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Because

Running south beside Mission Bay,
one comes to the place where the city
has stenciled, Courtesy Please,

only it looks to me as if it says
Curtsy Please, and so I do, to the whole
majestic world, and to the joy of mistakes,

and find myself overwhelmed by the wish
to bless everything in sight, and so
with the power in me—inherent

and equal to the power in everything else—
I bless the short man with one good eye
and the pelican as it keels then dives,

and I bless the fish it catches. I bless
the sky above me and the worn concrete
below me, the old men walking slowly

and the beautiful beautiful women.
I bless the ones who built the pavilion,
utilitarian and new. And I bless the short grass,

the playgound equipment, the water,
the mallard ducks, too. I bless each thing
for the pleasure of blessing, imagining

everyone else doing the same,
all of us blessing each other, ourselves,
one elation, indivisible, slivers of god,

with hilarity and just us for all.

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