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“It’s not happiness that makes us grateful but gratefulness that makes us happy.” – Br. David Steindl Rast

A Good Reminder on a Challenging Day

A note from Erin:

This morning, a line from a Mary Oliver poem comes to mind.

“I am so distant from the hope of myself, in which I have goodness, and discernment, and never hurry through the world but walk slowly, and bow often.”

I’m having one of those days.

Reintegration after a week of silent retreat has been a bit challenging this past week.

I’d kind of like to disappear back into retreat. :) For, say, 3 months. Sigh….

I find I’m distant from the best hopes of myself, and becoming more intimate than I’d like with my limitations and irritations. I’m behind on emails and dozens of other tasks that have been feeling heavy and important. Life’s presenting me with the wonderful opportunity to put maitri into practice.

I find I’m also needing to walk amongst the trees, return to quiet, and be reminded of such wisdom as is in this sweet poem.

This poem is a gift to me.

I hope it also comes as a gift to you.

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks, and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled with light, and to shine.”

– Mary Oliver, from Thirst

And now, I’m off for a walk amongst the trees.

May you too go easy, be filled with light, and shine.

Warmly,
Erin

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