On the walk Delycia and I took this morning at Haley Farm State Park, I started thinking about the natural grace we both were displaying as we walked along the trail. We weren’t doing anything fancy – just walking – and yet I saw stylishness in the movements of our 80-year-old legs. We passed over the stones and slopes and dips with senior-citizen poise, moving our old legs with marvelous suppleness. Really, it’s a major miracle how the human body does its daily tricks, and one of its finest feats is the fluid movement of the bones and muscles and nerves of legs. How does this wonder happen – even the well-worn bodies of Delycia and me flowing along with seeming lightsomeness – and today, on a trail of rocks and rises and bumps? I guess I actually shouldn’t be surprised, since our two vintage bodies do these kinds of wonders on a daily basis – lifting pencils with deftness, walking from room to room with elderly elegance, turning our heads as easily as breezes bend and flow. Truly, a fine finesse is with us always, though I don’t often notice it. Even the act of typing these words has a certain nimbleness in it, arising, perhaps, from the simple grace of just being alive – and, luckily, old.
Below, my beloved fellow hiker leading the way …
SAVED BY GRACE
(Bill M., 87, Blessings, CT, USA)
He knows he is saved by grace -
by the wind
with all its wings
sailing with poise,
by the easeful brightness
of even sorrow and darkness,
and by the light-footed
carefree or nervous feelings
that circulate inside him.
He sees finesse in all the moments
parading through life,
even the fearful ones
that throw and spin themselves at him,
but then bow with benevolence
if he gives them his finest gift,
an unruffled nod
and a smile.
WORDS LIKE LIGHT
Wednesday, August 25, 2021
I hope to keep in mind today that I am always surrounded and softly held by our pretty-as-a-picture universe. Even just sitting at my desk in the early morning, doing my daily writing, I see the striking patterns in the wood of the desk, my moderately graceful handwriting on post-it notes, and the silver shine of my small pencil sharpener in the lamplight. Even if I were in a hospital bed, being treated for a serious illness, I hope I would notice perhaps the appealing patterns in the woodwork, or the way clouds curl and slowly flow across the sky outside the window, or even just the elderly elegance of the hairs on my arms. There is some pleasing splendor in even the saddest situations – the delicate tears of sorrow, the bowed-down beauty of friends consoling friends, the sublime service freely given by first-responders. For sure, this is a bewitching world I’m lucky to be living in, where there’s something stunning in even the simplest moment.
SINGING ALL NIGHT
One night a woman heard voices
She couldn't seem to stop them.
It was as if her mind was spilling songbirds
all over her bedroom. The brightness she saw
as she walked the floor was the brightness
of the suspended stars, the understanding
that all she ever needed
was with her
at this very moment.
The voices she heard
were the voices of forests
on the sides of mountains,
and schools of fish celebrating in infinite rivers.
the songs of minutes
made in heaven,
of sunglasses so happy on a sunny day.
And here’s a slideshow of some scenes from recent days …