Say the sweet things you should say. Give what you should give. Let your days be full of risking your heart for nothing in return other than the incandescent joy of loving. Otherwise, when your days are winding down, and the body in which your soul resides begins to falter, you’ll miss those chances you let slip away. The only real thing in life is love. Share it. Freely. With everyone. Yourself, included.
I went out in the dark of night to get some space away from an exhausting day. Over my house hung a sliver of the moon and a star, side by side. I’m sure it was a planet, but which one, I don’t know. The two of them looked as if they could have been holding hands, gazing into one another’s eyes with deep affection. I smiled at the thought of celestial friendships—how everything hanging in God’s sky is in perfect harmony.
I breathed in the cool of the night, God’s own breath, and I wondered, Why can’t we be in perfect harmony with each other? I went to bed with the desire to live in peace and harmony with all of God’s creation, praying for my heart to be fully open.
“Oh give thanks to the Lord…”
A cold wind blows down from the mountains. I pull my scarf up around my head, hoping to ward off the chill. I’m walking in the fold of the day where the morning turns into the afternoon. A handful of leaves scatter across the street and then settle. Their small racket stirs within me memories of winter nights spent in front of a crackling fire with friends. Overhead, the warning of a crow, a shrill crisp note, called over and over, breaks the quiet. Further down the road, I walk past a woman sitting in a rocker on her front porch. She waves to me as if we are long-lost friends. I smile and return the wave. I’m glad to be alive on this blustery day.
I promise myself that when I return home I will make an entry in my journal: “Today is a good day.” I haven’t won the lottery, or made a lot of money, or been asked for my hand in marriage, but still, it’s a good day. I’ve felt the wind. I’ve heard the sounds of nature. I’ve remembered friends and waved to a stranger. These small things that seem so inconsequential are the things that make life worth living. I give thanks to God for them.
Tell me of the well-worn path in which you’ve lumbered, year after year, to arrive at the place of your dreams, and I’ll tell you to open your fist, soften your grip, and veer off, away from that dusty rut your feet know so well. Explore the outlying brush, the thickets, the mossy bogs, the dead trees fallen from some mighty storm. Explore the terrain that terrifies you.
The destination of our dreams is not a separate place, tucked away at the end of the journey. The destination is the journey; this
Tell me your dreams and I’ll tell you that you’re living them, right now, no matter how far off on the horizon they may appear to you. Because you’re on your way. And the path can’t be torn away from the destination. They are one and the same.
Someone threw a rock and shattered my elderly neighbor’s window. A few of us who live on the street gathered outside of his house to assess the damage. “Sorry, Tom, that you have to deal with this,” a neighbor said to him.
“Don’t you hate people who do this kind of damage?” asked another. Tom shook his head. “No, I don’t. I feel sorry for them.”
“You’re a bigger person than me. I’d hate the person who broke a window at my house,” chimed in another.
“It was a rock that broke my window. Should I hate the rock?” Tom asked.
“But a person threw it,” a woman said.
“Yes. That’s true. But it was the pain inside the person that caused them to throw the rock. I can’t hate that pain. I can only feel compassion for it, for I too, have felt pain,” whispered Tom. I drew in a quick breath, surprised at Tom’s wisdom, his Christ-like heart.
Neighbors shook their heads. I heard one whisper the word “crazy” as they walked away. I remained, not yet wanting to leave the company of such a dear man.
“Do you need any help cleaning up?” I asked.
“No, but thank you for asking,” Tom answered.
“Thank you, for your loving heart,” I said.
“Is there any other kind to have? We must help each other heal from our pain that causes destruction in life, not hate it,” he said as he rested his hand on my shoulder.
“The world would be a better place if we could do that,” I said. It would be a better place, indeed.