Softness

            Pausing on our bike ride this morning beside this old, peaceful pond

brought to mind, for some reason, the countless thoughts that come drifting down on me in their soft but insistent way, like raindrops on a pond. Like all of us, I live in the midst of a steady rainfall of thoughts, all as soft as the rain that sometimes descends on this pond. True, some of my thoughts – those filled with stress or uneasiness – don’t seem especially soft, but perhaps that’s because I often feel more like a sheet of asphalt than a soft, welcoming pond – like I’m being besieged by the thoughts instead of being softly visited by them. When unsettling thoughts seem to be filling my mind, perhaps I can learn to take a few (or maybe many) steps back and dispassionately survey them as they flutter down on me, simply taking notice of the thoughts instead of being deluged by them. Then, maybe those distressing thoughts might seem as harmless as raindrops settling softly on this old, welcoming pond. Raindrops soon disappear and become a useful addition to ponds like this, and perhaps I can learn to let thoughts softly descend on me and soon assimilate themselves in a helpful way in the limitless, universal Pond that I and all of us are part of.  

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A happy, young-at-heart couple taking a break on their bike ride this morning …

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PERSISTENT GOODNESS
 
One day
a man with advanced cancer 
grew weary of goodness
and decided to flee from it forever. 
He tried to not see 
the graciousness of the nurses and doctors, 
nor the benevolence brought by the sunshine 
at his hospital window,
nor the mild manners
of autumn’s leaves settling 
on the windowsill. 
He turned his face
from the affectionate softness
of his comfortable bed,
and from the goodwill
of the clean walls and helpful floors.
He couldn’t stand the compassion
of his visitors, 
and he always jumped away
from the generosity of a new morning. 
 
It was no use, though, 
for goodness never gives up. 
The man finally surrendered to it, 
and both he and his grateful cancer
fell into its soft arms.
 
 

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