Well it is hot and sunny here in Scotland, not something we experience that often!
So I think it is time for a little Mary Oliver…
The Summer Day
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
(from New and Selected Poems, 1992)
Picture is ‘flow[er]” by Jonny Baker on Flickr
let it go – the
smashed word broken
open vow or
the oath cracked length
wise – let it go it
was sworn to
let them go – the
truthful liars and
the false fair friends
and the boths and
neithers – you must let them go they
let all go – the
big small middling
tall bigger really
the biggest and all
things – let all go
so comes love
~ e. e. cummings ~
(Complete Poems 1904-1962)
A perceptive wee poem from ee cummings.
It is not always easy to let some things (or some people) go.
We hold on to the hurts and the disappointments (big and small)… and we do this this at the expense of love.
Kent Nerburn also finds hope in the everyday… in the quiet corners of the ordinary.
Like Chittister (yesterday) he finds hope lies in the small actions we perform everyday which have the power to transform not only our own lives, but the lives of other people.
“We are not saints, we are not heroes.
Our lives are lived in the quiet corners of the ordinary.
We build tiny hearth fires, sometimes barely strong enough to give off warmth. But to the person lost in the darkness, our tiny flame may be the road to safety, the path to salvation.
“It is not given us to know who is lost in the darkness that surrounds us or even if our light is seen. We can only know that against even the smallest of lights, darkness cannot stand.
“A sailor lost at sea can be guided home by a single candle.
A person lost in a wood can be led to safety by a flickering flame.
It is not an issue of quality or intensity or purity.
It is simply an issue of the presence of light.”
Picture is‘candlesanctuary2’ byJonny Baker
It has been a very difficult year.
I am always a little wary of blogging about personal stuff (mine or that relating to my congregation) which is probably why there have been so few blog posts over the past year or so.
It has been another year in limbo with our building and 18 months spent as guests in someone else’s space.
And a year in which ongoing problems with my voice have caused me to question myself and my calling.
It has been a difficult journey and now there is light breaking into darkness.
A quote from Joan Chittister has been buzzing around my mind of late.
It is about holding on to hope and to all those small acts of will which can eventually transform darkness into light.
“Hope is not a denial of reality. But it is also not some kind of spiritual elixir. It is not a placebo infused out of nowhere. Hope is a series of small actions that transform darkness into light. It is putting one foot in front of the other when we can find no reason to do so at all”.
One song can spark a moment,
One flower can wake the dream
One tree can start a forest,
One bird can herald spring.
One smile begins a friendship,
One handclasp lifts a soul.
One star can guide a ship at sea,
One word can frame the goal
One vote can change a nation,
One sunbeam lights a room
One candle wipes out darkness,
One laugh will conquer gloom.
One step must start each journey.
One word must start each prayer.
One hope will raise our spirits,
One touch can show you care.
One voice can speak with wisdom,
One heart can know what’s true,
One life can make a difference,
You see, it’s up to you.
I used this poem for a service at a local nursing home today and people seemed to like it :)
This works on so many different levels for me :)