I recall a friend once telling me that the weather has what he called “infinite abilities” to surprise us. He said there’s no limit to what the weather can do, because it doesn’t grow weak and weary like we do. This morning, as I was walking near the Mystic River, I was thinking about what he said, and it started me wondering if we, too, might actually have some infinite abilities – the ability, for instance, to bring some brightness to others, or the ability to be brave when life breaks down, or the ability to believe in kindness when cruelty seems in control the world over. I, for one, am weary of the limiting outlook on life – the view that we can have only so much satisfaction or whole-heartedness or amazement, that these qualities come only in small quantities and will sooner or later shrink away. I’ve known people who had a far wider view of things – who paid tribute to the good gift of life even when suffering severely, even when hope seemed to hold out no hand. They seemed to know that cheerfulness and inner liveliness are limitless – actually infinite – and that any person’s supply of benevolence is literally boundless. To them – and to me – a quality like the ability to be amazed by the beauties of this universe is without limits. When the door of death swings open for me, I hope I’m able, even then, to be astonished by the view – by the vast mysteries of all things. I hope I can still shout, at least in spirit, some words of praise for the gifts I’m given each moment …

… including the gift of this lovely view of the Mystic River from St. Patrick Cemetery, where I did a misty morning walk today.

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(about Patricia F., 46, Blessings, CT)
She seems to see openings everywhere.
Even in disappointments, there are windows
to look through to new understandings,
and in fear, if she looks with care, 
there are always crevices
that show her a view
of courage as vast as the sky.
She knows the doors
of the universe
are constantly swinging open.
There are entrances to satisfaction
wherever she happens to be,
and she’s sure a doorway waits
in the center of every sorrow. 
Life gives her 
a new gateway every morning, 
and she takes pleasure 
in opening it. 

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