The following poem is a favorite of my mother. I love to hear her recite poetry. She is a radiant, vibrant soul. I’ve been sorting out harvested basil seeds this past week, and this poem came to mind as I blew the chaff away from the seeds.
But first, this morning’s moon (!); this morning the crescent moon in the inky black sky was surrounded by a bright halo. I couldn’t take my eyes off of it as I sat outside in the dark chill air. It was a beautiful sight and I was filled from within with expansive gratitude for this beautiful universe. My morning awareness during Sit.Sip.n.Be is a sacred time for me to be fully present. Oh, the things I used to overlook when I didn’t carve out an intention to appreciate NOW.
This awareness prepares me to notice timely moments in the coming day for loving kindness. I have many opportunities daily to integrate loving kindness for my whole self, ‘warts and all’. This loving kindness is especially welcome when autoimmune symptoms flare. That is when I have the occasion to arrive at loving conclusions for things about the illness I used to dislike. Now, rather than feeling distressed by challenges that I would sometimes begrudge, I see things to love about my state of be-ing, and I am more often fully at ease, rather than in a state of dis-ease.
This poem paints a welcome image of how to arrive at loving conclusions for ourselves and others. Consider placing and identifying yourself in this poem. On the third line replace “a person” with “myself”. Then, replace “a faithful hand” with “my faithful hand” near the end of the poem.
Oh, the comfort —
the inexpressible comfort of feeling
safe with a person —
having neither to weigh thoughts
nor measure words, but pouring them
all right out, just as they are,
chaff and grain together;
certain that a faithful hand will
take and sift them,
keep what is worth keeping,
and then with the breath of kindness
blow the rest away.
Dinah Maria (Mulock) Craik (1826 – 1887)
[A Life for a Life, Chapter 16]