I receive the blessings of December • Deep cold and warm sun, scattered across my days • Baking cookies with my mom and sisters • A fire in the grate and the warmth of family beside it • The true gifts of presence – of hugs and smiles and openhanded generosity And offer this blessing in response • May your heart receive the gifts that come your way with joy. • May you spill your own gifts into the world with abandon - and there find even deeper joy.
I receive the blessings of November • Taking time with family, with all the bustle and with moments of quiet relaxation • Rediscovering gratitude as part of the glue that binds hearts to one another • A beautiful fall in Texas, right outside my door. Full of red and yellow, full of quiet joy. I offer this blessing in response • May you find the time to see the interrelatedness of all creation, where each heart’s gift calls another into the dance.
I receive the blessings of October • The birthday gift of presence from my family, willing to join me outdoors despite the wind and unexpected heat • The whimsy of encounters with armadillos and cows • The crunch of leaves underfoot I offer this blessing in response • May you catch the eyes of a friend, this day, and see within in them a reflection of your worth to them – and give in jubilant response, the confirmation of their worth to you.
I receive the blessings of September • The giggles of little girls tumbling together in play • The wonder of growing bodies, growing bones, growing minds, growing hearts pulled by the sheer exuberance of life – full and free • The first sight of the ocean, a brisk walk, visiting with friends in Maine • Glimpses of wildlife – turkey, deer, fox, eagle – anchoring me to a world more grounded than the insistent call of the news I offer this blessing in response • May you hear the whisper – or the shout – of life within you, joyfully calling you forward into this day, this very day
I receive the blessings of August • The rhythm of rain upon the roof after so many days of dry and hot • An escape to the mountains with friends, hiking trails, catching sight of such majesty, listening to the chatter of a stream • Sharing a dinner with friends, flavored with fond memories and the simple gestures of kind and faithful love • One cool morning back home, that feels a bit like a taunt, but holds real promise I offer this blessing in response • May your heart know the blessings that hide inside your challenges and hold to the deep assurance that your own path leads through beauty and bends towards home
I receive the blessings of July • A walk in the early part of the day, catching a deer and a mother possum with babies on her back • Air conditioning and fans – and gratitude for a way to escape the heat • Watching our kids guide their kids through the challenges of life – knowing that their job is not to make the path smooth, but to teach them to face the challenges with courage I offer this blessing in response • May you find cool in the midst of heat, peace in the midst of challenge and joy among the small kindnesses that come your way. [photo from Flickr by Steve Rainwater per cc 2.0]
I receive the blessings of June • Watching the granddaughters play together – focused, joyful, creative • Nestling into a family vacation where we discover, again, the blessing of each other’s presence • Listening to my mother and aunt remember their childhood days • Watermelon as the taste of summer I offer this blessing in response • May you weave life and hope into each story that you tell, remembering with both honesty and grace the moments that shape your soul
[photo is my own]
I receive the blessings of May • Thundering rainstorms healing the cracks in the dry ground • An unexpected cool spell following unseasonal heat – both reminding me that, thankfully, my sphere of control is limited and the choice to respond is where my heart can find peace • A four-generation picnic, with cascading delight, heart to heart to heart I offer this blessing in response • May this very moment whisper life into your heart as you stop to take a breath – in and out – and find that there is time enough for gratitude, even today [Photo by Ian Sanderson on flickr per cc 2.0]
I receive the blessings of April • The geese in my neighbor’s pond, mother patiently upon the nest, father faithfully patrolling nearby • The joy of children dancing, emersed in the music and the sheer delight of movement • The soft nod of my mother, watching my granddaughters at play • The unconquerable spirit of spring, pushing itself up through the ground and out through each tiny branch I offer this blessing in response • May the spirit of love, which is life itself, rise in your heart and extend itself through your fingers to bless the earth around you
I receive the blessings of March • Whispers of spring in the garden, tender sprigs that somehow defy the frosty fingers of the night • The hopeful, happy call of birds • An unbundled walk among the trees, shedding my coat along the way • The way my soul is nudged awake by the conversations of friends And I offer this blessing in response • May your heart follow the voice of a friend to find wonder, hope, and the tender tenacity of new growth.