Sit . Sip . n . Be .

BE fully present. BE loving.

The Breath of Kindness



Basil seeds to harvest

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.

❤ Gwendolyn

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]


Author: Gwendolyn

Welcome, friend! I am an American writer, based in Utah. SIT.SIP.n.BE is a blog I created to share my passion for slow, simple living, and the importance of camaraderie. Since 2005 I have dug deep and unearthed rich things about life, self, God and others as I've lived with autoimmune disease. In spite of occasional darkest days, there are compensatory the-light-is-so-bright-I-have-to-squint moments that are utterly joy-FULL ... bursting with fulfillment and gratitude . Life can be fulfilling even with what some call limitations. Loving conversations, healing conversations, and learning conversations ARE possible with self and God.

4 thoughts on “The Breath of Kindness

  1. I love this poem! I bought some greeting cards for special friends MANY years ago with the first 5 lines (up to words) but hadn’t ever heard the rest of it. Thank you Gwen!

  2. You’re welcome, Kathy! I’m glad we have both benefitted from this poem . . . and your five special friends who received the cards from you. ❤

  3. Beautiful post from a beautiful mind and spirit.

  4. Thank you, Stan. You offer everything to me this poem talks of: safety and certainty. I am safe knowing that you will take and sift the chaff and grain, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away.

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