Life Lesson

Foggy mystic forest during fall

In Blackwater Woods

by Mary Oliver

Look, NIKE AIR FOOTSCAPE the trees

are turning

their own bodies

into pillars

of light,

are giving off the rich

fragrance of cinnamon

and fulfillment,

the long tapers

of cattails

are bursting and floating away over

the blue shoulders

of the ponds,

and every pond,

no matter what its

name is, Nike Air Jordan 11 Womens is

nameless now.

Every year

everything

I have ever learned

in my lifetime

leads back to this: the fires

and the black river of loss

whose other side

is salvation,

whose meaning

none of us will ever know. Northwestern Wildcats

To live in this world

you must be able

to do three things:

to love what is mortal;

to hold it

against your bones knowing

your own life depends on it;

and, Nike Air Max Goedkoop when the time comes to let it go,

to let it go.

Many years ago, the husband of a friend died very suddenly. ADIDAS ULTRA BOOST 2017

My friend’s grief seemed unbearable. Air Jordan 5 Uomo

As I witnessed her suffering, Cooper Bateman Jersey I wondered if I could ever bear such pain. NIKE AIR FOOTSCAPE

I came to understand what Mary Oliver tells us so clearly… Jon Beason I must hold what is mortal against my bones as if my own life depends on it…for it does, West Virginia Mountaineers and when the time comes to let it go,

Songs from my Wren!

Carolina Wren

I HAPPENED TO BE STANDING

By

Mary Oliver

I don’t know where prayers go,

or what they do.

Do cats pray, while they sleep

half-asleep in the sun?

Does the opossum pray as it

crosses the street?

The sunflowers? The old black oak

growing older every year?

I know I can walk through the world,

along the shore or under the trees,

with my mind filled with things

of little importance, in full

self-attendance. Nike Air Max 90 Dames blauw

A condition I can’t really

call being alive.

Is a prayer, a gift, Adidas Schoenen or a petition,

or does it matter?

The sunflowers blaze, Nike Free 5.0 Hombre maybe that’s their way.

Maybe the cats are sound asleep. Maybe not.

While I was thinking this I happened to be standing

just outside my door, with my notebook open,

which is the way I begin every morning.

Then a wren in the privet began to sing.

He was positively drenched in enthusiasm.

I don’t know why. Mens Nike Air Max TN

And yet,why not.

I would persuade you from whatever you believe

or whatever you don’t. That’s your business.

But I thought, nike air force 1 mid hombre of the wren’s singing, North Texas Mean Green Jerseys what could this be

if it isn’t a prayer?

So I just listened, EQT SUPPORT ADV

my pen in the air.

Every Spring I wait for my Carolina wren to show up and sing the morning awake! My wren was a little late arriving this year, but at least he or she (I’m not sure which) is here in full voice “drenched in enthusiasm” offering up prayer. “What could this be if it isn’t a prayer?”

Now of course, this wren is probably not the same one that sang to me last year… Nike Free 2.0 Mujer nevertheless I prefer to believe it is my wren who loves it here at what my husband calls the “George’s bird spa.” We offer a variety of delicious seed and a warm bath here at our spa, nike air max pas cher and while some of our friends stay with us all winter, FLYKNIT LUNAR3

my wren flies to warmer climes until April or so.

The Life of a Day

sun burst   This day dawned fresh and new, a welcome surprise given the humid heaviness of yesterday. Air Jordan 1 Retro How wonderful…a near perfect day, I thought as I sipped my coffee…a good day to post a poem about “Spring mornings” on my blog. asics buty męskie Retrieving my favorite collection of poems (Good Poems chosen by Garrison Keiller) from by bookshelf, I came across this little gem! Read it slowly, let its message soak in. new balance 993 outlet I’ve done just that and I’m soaking up all this day has to offer, but when tomorrow comes along with something different…perhaps grey skies, or oppressive heat, I plan to meet it with full appreciation of it’s “one-of-a-kind” offer to me. Alabama Championship Shirts Each day is to be treasured…this I know to be true.  

The Life of a Day

by

Tom Hennen

Like people or dogs, each day is unique and has

its own personality quirks which can easily be seen

if you look closely. Nike Air Max Norge Nettbutikk Sko But there are so few days as

compared to people, not to mention dogs, that it

would be surprising if a day were not a hundred

times more interesting than most people. ZAPATILLAS NIKE AIR JORDAN But

usually they just pass, mostly unnoticed, unless

they are wildly nice, like autumn ones full of red

maple trees and hazy sunlight, of if they are grimly

awful ones in a winter blizzard that kills the lost

traveler and bunches of cattle. Zapatillas AIR JORDAN 1 RETRO For some reason

we like to see days pass, even though most of us

claim we don’t want to reach our last one for a

long time. Maglia Grant Hill We examine each day before us with

barely a glance and say, no, this isn’t one I’ve been

looking for, and wait in a bored sort of way for

the next, when, we are convinced, our lives wil

start for real.

Soul’s Journey in the Heart of New Mexico

IMG_0265

 

Exodus

by Renae Been

When Moses thrust his staff into the Earth,

he did not waver.

Be it Destiny, Fate, Divinity,

no matter,

he felt the thread of inspiration

intersect with the pulse of the Earth

the two beat as one.

It was his time.

Some may inquire in later years,

How did you do it?

I will whisper,

I do not know.

I heard the sea gathering,

giant cupped hands

lifted the edges of her salty skirt

revealing the path.

I began to crawl,

clothed only with questions

into

the Promised Land.

Breathtakingly beautiful like the land that inspired it, this exquisite poem by Renae Been captures the essence of my Soul’s Journey Through the Heart of New Mexico. “Clothed only with questions,” I spent a week absorbing the energy and beauty of this sacred land at Ghost Ranch where the earth and sky meet, in community with extraordinary loving and open-hearted women, seekers and path-finders all.  I felt “the thread of inspiration intersect with the pulse of the Earth” connecting me with All That Is in a powerful way.

This Women’s Spiritual Retreat created by my friend and colleague, Marilou Bova, was designed to help us open to the internal guidance of our soul through quiet reflective time; open to the wisdom of the land and the sky; open to the wisdom of our bodies through yoga, massage, energy work and walking labyrinths; open to the wisdom of each other in sacred conversations. (Marilou Bova is gathering another group of women in Abiquiu September 5-12.  For more information you can contact her at mlb@bovainternational.com).

Marilou’s generous and loving spirit draws not only the participants in the retreat, but also women in the Abiquiu community who enriched our experience in many ways. One unforgettable evening by the Charma River, Carolyn Morningstar Berry, a grandmother who walks behind a long line of grandmothers from the Gabrielino/Tongva tribe in California, guided us through a sacred Medicine Wheel Ceremony inspiring us to move in harmony with the flow of life.  Women of Abiquiu prepared delicious food for us, offered body and energy work, and gathered  with us for a potluck dinner at Jaye Buros’ Rising Moon art gallery.  It was here that we heard Renae recite her poem, Exodus.

For me, “the promised land” is here and now.  I return home accepting my responsibility as an Elder and a Grandmother to pass on what I’ve learned in this lifetime.  I believe passionately in this: we are living in extraordinary times of social, economic, and environmental upheaval which require leadership from all of us to step forward to meet the challenges of the 21st century.  I believe we have a shared responsibility to create a sustainable future to ensure the common well-being, to nurture a flourishing human community, and to preserve our Mother Earth.

Thomas Merton inspires me to hold on to the resolve I felt so strongly in New Mexico.  Humans have a responsibility to find themselves where they are, in their own proper time and place in the history to which they belong and to which they must inevitably contribute either their response or their evasions, either truth and act,or mere slogan and gesture.

Namaste

Advice from Mary Oliver and Tim McGraw!

Blue pink star systems

When Death Comes 

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps his purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox;

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering;
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,

and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth
tending as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was a bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

by Mary Oliver

Oh my… death will come “like a hungry bear in autumn!”  Imagine that! Why is it that many of us try to keep this reality at bay or even deny it? Last week my “Conscious Aging” group gathered to talk about our views and feelings about death and dying. A rich conversation ensued that led us to a place of deep appreciation for this life we are living moment to moment, day to day for not one of us wanted to end up “simply having visited this world.”

Weaving her magic, Mary Oliver declares that while here let’s “be like a bride married to amazement” and “take the world in our arms as a bridegroom,”  treasuring each life, feeling our connection with all that is…”a brotherhood and a sisterhood” yet each “body a lion of courage and precious to the earth.”

In other words, “live like you are dying” as Tim McGraw, country music star,  implores us in this hit song:

 Live Like You Are Dying

He said I was in my early forties

With a lot of life before me

When a moment came that stopped me on a dime

I spent most of the next days, looking at the x-rays
Talking bout the options and talking bout sweet time.

I asked him when it sank in
That this might really be the real end
How’s it hit ‘cha when you get that kind of news?
Man, what’d ya do?
And he said

I went skydiving
I went rocky mountain climbing
I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu
And I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I gave forgiveness I’d been denyin’

And he said, Someday I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dyin’

He said, I was finally the husband
That most the time I wasn’t
And I became a friend, a friend would like to have

And all of a sudden goin’ fishin’
Wasn’t such an imposition
And I went three times that year I lost my dad
Well I, I finally read the good book
And I took a good long hard look
At what I’d do if I could do it all again.

What We Need Is Here

 

 

Canadian Geese Flying in V Formation

What We Need is Here

Geese appear high over us,

pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,

as in love or sleep, holds

them to their way, clear

in the ancient faith: what we need

is here. And we pray, not

for new earth or heaven, but to be

quiet in heart, and in eye,

clear. What we need is here.                              

by Wendell Berry 

Why is it so difficult for us to remember the simple truth that what we need is here? Living from this place of faith with clear eye and quiet heart seems profoundly out of reach for many of us.

With remarkable simplicity, this poem reminds me to do the inner work of opening, allowing and letting go into the timeless present for it is here that I can experience life fully and more freely.  It is here that I come to a place of acceptance, of peace with the way it is.

Namaste,

Bette

       

Be still….there’s magic in this day!

Composite image of cheering female silhouette

Mindful

by Mary Oliver

Every day

I see or I hear

something

that more or less

kills me

with delight,

that leaves me 

like a needle

in the haystack

of light.

It is what I was born for–

to look, to listen,

to lose myself

inside this soft world–

to instruct myself

over and over

in joy

and acclamation.

Nor am I talking

about the exceptional,

the fearful, the dreadful,

the very extravagant,

the fearful, the dreadful,

the very extravagant–

but of the ordinary,

the common, the very drab,

the daily presentations.

Oh, good scholars,

I say to myself,

how can you help

but grow wise

with such teachings

as these–

the untrimmable light

of the world,

the ocean’s shine,

the prayers that are made

out of grass?

As I step into this brand new year, I intend to “see or hear something that more or less kills me with delight,”  to be inspired by the magic of the each day, to be instructed by the ordinary daily encounters and experiences offered up for me when I pay attention.

Who better than Mary Oliver to remind me to “look, to listen,to lose myself inside this soft world–to instruct myself over and over in joy, and acclamation.”  “To pay attention…this is our right and proper work,” the poet instructs in another poem called “Yes!No!

Looking out my window as I write today, the bare trees are shrouded in a rainy mist and I delight in the stillness of this moment…may I “grow wise with such teachings as these.”

Have a beautiful day….a beautiful year!

PEACE

Do You Believe in Miracles?

Beauty Summer Day. Abstract environmental backgrounds for your d

All is a Miracle

Thich Nhat Hanh

 I like to walk alone on country paths, 
rice plants and wild grasses on both sides,


putting each foot down on the earth
 in mindfulness,

knowing 
that I walk on the wondrous earth.


In such moments, existence is a miraculous 
and mysterious reality.

People usually consider walking on water

or in thin air a miracle.

But I think the real miracle

is not to walk either on water or in thin air,

but to walk on earth.

Every day we are engaged in a miracle

which we don’t even recognize:

a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves,

the black, curious eyes of a child–

our own two eyes.

All is a miracle.

                                                                    Thich Nhat Hanh, “Miracle of Mindfulness”

 

Sweet Honey from Old Failures

macro shot of honey bee on a honeycomb (natural product)

Last night, as I was sleeping by Antonio Machado

English version by Robert Bly

Last night, as I was sleeping, I dreamt — marvelous error!– that a spring was breaking out in my heart. I said: Along which secret aqueduct, Oh water, are you coming to me, water of a new life that I have never drunk?

Last night, as I was sleeping, I dreamt — marvelous error!– that I had a beehive here inside my heart. And the golden bees were making white combs and sweet honey from my old failures.

Last night, as I was sleeping, I dreamt — marvelous error!– that a fiery sun was giving light inside my heart. It was fiery because I felt warmth as from a hearth, and sun because it gave light and brought tears to my eyes.

Last night, as I slept, I dreamt — marvelous error!– that it was God I had here inside my heart.

by Antonio Machado (translated by Robert Bly

This is one of my most beloved poems. It speaks to my heart and enlivens my spirit in a way that is deeply personal and universal at the same time.

I just love the image of golden bees making sweet honey from all of my old failures! Rather than focusing on the way failure tests your mettle as fire does to steel, the poet looks in the direction of the heart and speaks of sweetness and honey. Jackets insulated “The heart, like the grape, is prone to delivering its harvest in the same moment that it appears to be crushed. parajumpers The beehive in your heart is humming precisely because of those failures.” from Ten Poems to Change Your Life by Roger Housden.

When I first read these lines years ago, warmth filled my heart as I saw more clearly than ever that somehow everything in my life has it’s own unique place. Imagine the possibility that even the most difficult, dark or disappointing experience can be the raw material that surfaces with the sweetness of honey. There is a wholeness, an ecology to our experience.

Lessons from the Kingfisher

   

Kingfisher, Alcedo atthis

    As Kingfishers Catch Fire By Gerard Manley Hopkins As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; As tumbled over rim in roundy wells Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name; Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; Selves — goes itself; myself it speaks and spells, Crying What I do is me: for that I came. What a magnificent creature…the Kingfisher! My first encounter with the Kingfisher, both poem and bird, was when David Whyte recited Gerard Manley’s poem at a gathering I attended some years ago. mu legend redzen online By the way, if you have never heard David Whyte recite poetry, his own and his favorites from others, you must add that experience to your bucket list. belts small accessories But I digress….the Kingfisher flies, swoops, dives, and catches fish. cheap mu legend zen This is what he came to do…so he does it with grace, with ease and with great skill. ugg bailey bow dot The Kingfisher fishes, as does the blue pelican. Even the stone rings out it’s song tumbling down a well in a way that is completely natural for the stone. cheap mu legend redzen Salmon swim upstream to the natal river where they were born in order to spawn. Everything on earth expresses it’s inner essence, no questions asked–except for us! We human beings somehow have to search for who we are and what we are here to do.