the oath…

 

I swear I will not dishonor my soul with hatred,
but offer myself humbly as a guardian of nature,
as a healer of misery, as a messenger of wonder,
as an architect of peace.

 


Quote: Diane Ackerman
Photo: Linda Hannum

 

from Gratefulness.org

 

Dazzled

Shepherds: a serigraph by John August Swanson

“It must be a great disappointment to God if we are not dazzled at least ten times a day.”

Now is the moment. It is the only moment we truly have. Look around and see…

We are near the time and place which has called for so much preparation. We have been primed to be alert, to pay attention.

Paying attention can bring moments important and inspiring.

When alert I have seen:

— Fireflies covering a field. Like a blanket of light and movement, they floated in silent grace only saying what was necessary in the glow of dusk.
— Fox pups with coats orange-brown playing on a mound of green earth. With frisky jumps and dashing runs they tried to hide from one another only to be discovered by sweeping tails dipped in white.
— A tiny Carolina wren perched face-first high in the corner of my porch. Dusk had settled into night and this little one had found a safe, dry place to sleep.
— And just yesterday a streak of indigo caught my eye. Before I knew it I faced a tree host to a family of blue birds.

To my surprise… after all this time I still feel a rush of energy when I am present to these sightings. They are moments discovered outside of human control.

We are near the time and place when a moment outside of human control comes to blanket the world with peace and care.

Like the shepherds looking up to angels bright as stars, be alert as God’s presence moves among us.


Quote: Mary Oliver, Good Morning No 5, from Blue Horses (2014)
Location unknown – image source: stekla63.ru

This Long and Quiet Night

Near a window, I watch the shortest day slowly surrender its light to this winter solstice. In the settling darkness there is an air of calm, of quiet. I welcome the hushed darkness of this evening. In the quiet I listen for an invitation to bring the ‘stretches of life’ together. To gather the scattered pieces of my life into one place.

This night does not call for judgment. Comforted by the warmth of home and a candle’s glow, this longest winter night calls for compassion, for acceptance.

Before me is all that’s been accomplished and all left undone. In this quiet darkness, there is time to let go, time to rest from the hard work of balancing life’s scattered pieces.

Dusk is now long gone. Looking to the sky the stars fill the darkness with points of light. There in the sky is the promise of light’s return.

I invite you to pause on this night. To welcome these dark hours and honor your work. To feel gratitude for all you have accomplished. To rest, knowing that light will soon return.

Into the peace of wild things…

 

I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief…
For a time I rest in the grace of the world,
and am free.

 


#AdventWord #Sprout
Quote: Wendell Berry
Photo: Ilona Ilyes