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.
I receive the blessings of February • The cold, tight grip of the frozen landscape, too big, too true to deny • The drip of an ice cycle from the eave of my porch • Bright sun on a cold day • The wonders of a cavern hidden deep underground And offer this blessing in response • May you have the courage to explore the depths of wonder in your own soul. May you find the light to take you home. May you release the myth of certainty and control and find, instead, the call of awe.
I receive the blessings of January • Seeds blanketed in the earth, holding quiet promise • Sunrise through dark, empty branches – light through the tangle • The warmth and quiet beauty of a fire • I begin to understand that ‘languishing’ is part of the cycle of letting go And offer this blessing in response • May your heart hold to the promise of winter, that spring will come. May the dawn find its way through the dark and tangled branches of the bare trees, whispering the surprising beauty of dormancy. May your heart stop fidgeting and simply wait.
May you trust the dawn,
Which I am bringing.
May your heart find a way
To hold both sorrow and hope.
May your ears listen, in quiet solidarity,
To the grief of cruel rejection.
And know that such a time as this,
Is meant for change, for growth.
The chrysalis has broken open.
Do not fear its breaking.
I have not abandoned you.
Nor have I forsaken my deep love for all.
Rest within my arms for just a moment.
Do not turn too quickly from the grief.
Let me rock you softly as your tears fall.
May you know, deeply know, that love prevails.
Already, I love you.
I always have.
You are a mystery, born of love.
And your wings will soon unfold into that truth.
You are emerging from the chrysalis that held you.
Its constraints no longer serve.
But it will take some time for the sun to dry your wings.
And the breeze of freedom to lift you for flight.
You can trust my love to win, again and always.
It is less about resistance and more about release.
My ways are not your ways.
They are strong and sure.
Love will prevail, not through plots and strategies,
But, as love always does, in loving.
In the meantime, may your heart hold on to me,
As I hold you.
When we think of you,
We remember how your faith unfolds into works of love;
How you persevere in hope, even when times are tough.
Your hope gives us hope;
Your joy brings us joy
Your faith inspires faith;
Your life shines life into our lives.
No wonder we give thanks to the Holy One
Whenever we remember you.
You embody the Spirit of grace
Who makes us one within the One.
No one can say, ‘Look! I made the candle burn.’
Instead what burns in you lights up another
And it goes on and on.
May your soul be wrapped in God’s great love
So that you might find your true home in that embrace.
May your heart be filled with whispers of hope
So that you might face this day with joy.
May the energy of life itself flow through your fingers
So that your touch might heal and enliven all you encounter.
May your dearest wish stir to wakefulness within the one great heart
Finding unique expression within that deeper unity.
May you somehow know the hidden secrets that cannot be grasped
But must, instead, be received with an open, grateful hand.
I woke this morning with the vestiges of a troubled dream still roiling my soul. It remained, not so much in my memory as in my emotions. It was unsettling, and threatened to take me to a dark place. Suddenly, I could understand the idea of omens and evil spirits. I could feel the power of the imagination.
Nothing about the physical world around me was different. The sheets, tousled upon my bed, the blanket tossed aside, the taste of my morning coffee, were all as they had been yesterday and the day before. But my heart was troubled.
And now I faced a choice. I could let the dream take my imagination, or I could let my imagination take the dream. That idea … that different tone … started as a small point of light in the center of my soul.
Like a candle in the night, it flickered there, faltering, fragile in the darkness. But I cupped my hands around it and focused my attention there. Small as it was, it warmed my hands. That warmth traveled up my arms and found my heart. It began to expand within me until I found that I could breath again.
I took a deep, full breath and shook my head, and shook my soul. It broke the spell of foreboding. I listened to the chimes outside my window and the quiet breathing of my husband, there beside me. A sense of gratitude began to rise within me, just as the night began to fade to day.
Not all evil is imaginary, but sometimes imaginary evil can threaten to steal your soul. And sometimes even the evil that is real grows stronger through imagination. Even then, sometimes, you can choose to see the light, and welcome it with gratitude.
You cannot really hold the light. But sometimes you can choose to let it hold you.
May you find the light, today.
May it hold you in its warmth.
May you learn to choose hope, when you can.
And find room to be grateful,