For All That Is Our Life

Spirit of Life, Source of all Love:

In this place that we dearly love,
this place where there are forests and grasslands
and beautiful wild rivers,
this place where our neighbors are
coyotes and ravens and hawks and deer
as well as human persons,
fire is raging out of control.
So many have lost everything,
including their lives.
It is a hard and terrible time,
and yet it is nearly Thanksgiving.

For what do we give thanks,
if everything we have known and loved is gone,
burned, nothing but ash and rubble?
For what do we give thanks
when the very air we breathe
is full of the remains of others,
and their homes,
and all the life around them?

Let us give thanks that we are alive.

We are alive in this moment
in our own body
here on Earth.

If we made it out of the fire,
we give thanks that we are alive
to mourn and to grieve,
to remember the moments when
we were not sure we would make it,
and then that moment when
we knew we had.
We give thanks that we have this chance
to start over,
to receive kindness from others,
to build a new life
different from the one before.

We give thanks that we are alive.

If we are watching the fire from afar,
we give thanks that our home still stands
and our friends and neighbors are safe
and that we are breathing at all,
even through a mask:

We give thanks for our breath.

We give thanks for the coming rain,
which will fall on our faces,
and mingle with our tears,
and cool and wet the parched ground,
and put out the fires and soothe our fears.

We give thanks for the rain.

We give thanks for You, the force of life
that will rise greening
through the deepest ash
at the slightest touch of rain.
We give thanks for this chance
to ourselves rise from the ashes
as new beings
alive with love.

For all that is our life,
even now,
we give thanks.

Blessed be.

What We Can Choose

Spirit of Life, Mystery Beyond Mystery:

“This being human is a guest house,”
says the poet, Rumi,
“Every morning a new arrival.
Welcome and entertain them all…
Be grateful, because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.”


We may never plumb
the depths of the mystery
of our life on Earth.

We may never know
why things happen
the way they do.

But we can choose our response.

We can choose
to open our hearts
to what is.

We can choose
to make meaning
from what we are given.

We can choose to create beauty

We can choose to heal brokenness

We can give thanks
for the beauty
and the brokenness,

and we can trust
that we are held,
in love.

Blessed be.

81.5 % Eclipse of the Sun

Photo by Guganeshan.T

We had no eclipse glasses
but our neighbors had some
given to them by our other neighbors
the ones whose politics are the antitheses of ours
the ones who send my husband propaganda
denying climate change and who complain
about lax discipline in schools and grow furious
when university students protest because
really they should be studying instead.

Those were the neighbors who sent away for glasses
Safe For Direct Solar Viewing and gave them
to our other neighbors who invited us over
because the kids were in school
and wouldn’t be using theirs.

We sat out on patio chairs in the yard
and drank ice water and ate grapes
and put on our cool cardboard glasses
and then gasped in amazement
because they completely blacked out
everything but the little crescent sun.

Then our neighbor’s cousin and her boyfriend
came out and more chairs were unfolded
and there weren’t enough cardboard glasses
so we shared them around
and everyone was amazed in turn

Then because my husband refused to believe
that trees will make pinhole cameras
I had to point out the hundreds of little crescents
on the ground under the oaks.

I mentioned that colanders will do the same
so our neighbor leapt up and ran to get one
along with some cardboard
and there were dozens of tiny crescents
and we were all amazed together.

This is how the world could be
and sometimes actually is
and so I wonder:

What if we all went outside
at 10 am every day
prepared to be amazed?  I mean
trees are always photosynthesizing
which is pretty darned amazing
and then there are insects and birds
and flowers and pollination
and fruiting and death and decay and rebirth
and really if you think about it
the whole world is full
of really quite astonishing phenomena.

And what if our amazement
bridged our differences?
What if the people with whom we
most vehemently disagreed
gave us just the thing we most needed
just when we needed it most?
What if we shared the gifts,
becoming ourselves the givers?
What if we trusted in the value
of the knowledge of others, and
leapt up to help them share it?

May we all share our gifts.
May we all listen to others.

May we all be amazed in turn.
May we all be amazed together.

This is my prayer of thanks.


We are Safe Here

Spirit of Life, greening power of spring,
you who bring trees and porcupines
and fish and ferns—and us!—to life
and gather us back in after we die:

Help us know we are  safe here.
Help us know that this green and blue place,
this great Mother Earth,
holds all that we are.

In our greatest joy, we are held.
In our deepest sorrow, we are held.

May we feel the support of Earth
as we walk and as we sit
and as we stand and as we lie down.

In every moment, may we feel Earth holding us
and may we remember to be thankful.

Blessed be.