I’ve intentionally spent time in varied landscapes this summer, which has led to a more vivid appreciation of the uniqueness and unity of our natural world. Here is the second in a series of blessings based on these places.
Blessing of the Mountains
May the thin sharp air clear our confusion
May the sudden sunrise kindle our joy
May the expanse of the summit uplift our souls
May the rush of the falls echo our love for the world
May the unimpeded stars soar our spirits
May the shelter of the valley hold safe our dearest dreams
SUMMER BOOK LIST: I hope this season has offered a window for reflection and replenishment. Firefly season in New England has already faded, but we are still near peak blueberry production, which means there is plenty of time for summer reading!
I’ve intentionally spent time in varied landscapes this summer, which has led to a more vivid appreciation of the uniqueness and unity of our natural world. Here is the first of a series of blessings based on these places.
BLESSING OF THE DESERT
May the skittering gecko bring alertness to change
May the spirals of the hawk inspire spirals of the mind
May the ancient pathways anchor our spirits
May the white fire of noon ignite the sleeping soul
May the full moon rising illuminate the shadows
May the cool pink dawn deliver hope.
SUMMER BOOK LIST: I hope this season has offered a window for reflection and replenishment. Firefly season in New England is already faded, but we are still at peak blueberry production, which means there is plenty of time for summer reading!
I spent a delightful morning last week exploring a beach known for its agates, amazed by the beautiful rocks that were strewn along the shore at low tide. By the time I turned to leave, my pockets were sagging with the weight of tiny treasures I’d borrowed to examine more closely.
Imagine my dismay when I emptied those pockets just a few minutes later to find a pile of boring dusty gravel! My disappointment turned to cynicism as I concluded that the jewels that had been so captivating on the shore were just dull worthless stones after all.
Then it occurred to me that there had only been one small difference between wonder and let-down. I poured a little water on the rock pile, and instantly the gravel was transformed back to treasure.
Dear ones, when we are disappointed, we are so quick to reject all that surrounds us – ideas, decisions, friendships. What if our first inclination was not rejection, but restoration? What if we sought this kind of replenishment for ourselves as well?
So many wonders in our world are just a little dusty, waiting for some water.
May we all find the polish that we need to shine.
May we offer the same to others in return.
This week I found myself near the coast, and hiked over two hours to see an area where there were supposed to be tidal pools teeming with life. When I arrived, I found barnacles and mussels and anemones, which should have been enough to delight any junior scientist. But I was missing the dramatic sea slugs and urchins and stars, peering beneath craggy overhangs while my boots got soaked in the outgoing tide. I was tired and sore and thoroughly unimpressed with the glorious bounty before me.
Finally I turned around to begin the long hike back, and saw a glint in the crevice behind me, followed by another and another and another. The whole time I was whining about the starfish, I’d been standing with my back to a colony of magnificent jewel colored crabs, unlike any I’ve ever seen.
Dear ones, when we find ourselves squinting and poking and sighing with dissatisfaction, let’s note what is absent, and mourn a moment if need be. And then let’s turn to witness the wonders that have been right there all along, just waiting to be seen.
Of course, the next day there were starfish galore. But that’s a story for another time…
I’ve spent most of my life in the rolling hills of the eastern United States, so the wide open spaces of deserts and the soaring peaks of mountains always hit me hard, leaving me dizzy with difference. I feel like Alice in Wonderland in these places, simultaneously completely exposed and insignificantly small.
What a delight it is to recalibrate in this way! Struggling up a rocky path in hundred-degree sun, my deskbound work seems easy and luxurious. Gazing up at a glacier that scrapes the clouds, my worries appear puny and fleeting. As an added bonus, I’m surrounded by the mystical wisdom of trail advisories, with timeless advice like, “Don’t throw rocks from top.”
If we are lucky, our home spaces are happy cocoons, just the right fit and scale to support our lives. And if we are very fortunate indeed, once in a while we get to stretch across vast horizons, or shrink down to tiny specks, reorienting toward our deeper place in this glorious world.
Dear ones, whether deserts or mountains, oceans or meadows, ideas or poems, I wish for us all this chance – to re-root in wonder.
Friends, I am delighted to share the article I was invited to write for the Green Money Journal’s “Next 30 Years” issue, including a tribute to legendary Hazel Henderson. Here’s to the green shoots of hope, and the sparks of progress!