WORDS LIKE LIGHT 

Saturday, September 11, 2021

CONTENTMENT

            In a human world seemingly scattered by disruption and dissatisfaction, it is reassuring to remember that, in nature, contentment is everywhere. Trees are perfectly at ease where they are, no matter what the wind or weather is like. They simply stand at peace, whether bent over by winds or smothered in soft snowfalls. And the squirrels in our yard seem to find gladness in getting up as high as possible in trees, or scraping the soil in pursuit of nuts, or simply twisting their heads here and there. They seem to be saying life is precisely what it should be right here and now – sometimes dangerous, yes, but always full and fulfilling. And high above, the sky goes about its boundless business in peace and restfulness. When it’s all blue and still, it seems content, but it appears just as restful when clouds are clashing and lightning is streaking around. I always see serenity when I’m outside and look up. 

            I can learn a lot from trees and squirrels and skies. I need to stay still more often and listen to their lectures!

A SKY HERSELF
(about Braelynn J., 51, Blessings, CT, USA)

She shoots for the sky every day, 
daring to send thoughts 
soaring as high as happiness. 
Her whole life 
seems like a boundless sky to her, 
and so she sails rather than works, 
ascends rather than toils.  
People tell her she always 
seems to be smiling, 
 and she knows that's because 
she's a sky herself, 
and can a sky 
be down and discouraged? 

WIND

A GRAND AND SPENDID PROCESS

Somewhere in his book in the Bible, Job says that the words of his wise friends are no more significant than “proverbs of ashes”, and it has me thinking, this morning, about the millions of words I spoke to my students, and how, years later, they are something like dust in the limitless universe of learning. I usually saw myself as a fairly sensible and shrewd instructor as I spoke to my students, but now, looking back, my words in the classroom seem like specks of small thoughts in a sky that goes on forever. The supposedly smart sentences I spoke in class and the lessons I set forth with self-assurance are now simply infinitesimal waves in the endless ocean of my students’ education. Strangely, this is not a sad thought for me, but an inspiring one, for it reminds me of the immensity and majesty of the teaching-and-learning process that I was lucky to be part of for 45 years. I was just one of the countless teachers my students had, including their families and friends and the books they read and the people they spoke to in passing and the sights they saw and all the words they listened to in their young but limitless lives. Their teachers were as numerous as the stars in the sky, and my spoken words just happened to be among them, just happened to float through their rising lives for a few months and then drift off like dust in the vast winds of learning. I feel blessed to have been even a small part of such a grand and splendid process.

+ + + + +

A DAY LIKE FRIENDSHIP

The hours passed in softened winds

somewhat the way friendship begins

with just some gentle words sent out

like signals. Fellowship will sprout

where there are breezes made of kind

and gracious thoughts, and peace of mind

arrives when friendship blows upon

two lives to make a special dawn.

+ + + + +

We took a very long walk (well, for me, at least) this morning (almost 7 miles), and while there were only slight winds most of the time, we two made a wind of our own with our brisk, well-cadenced strides. Take a look: