An instrument of peace

“Lord, make me an instrument of peace.”

With that single line St Francis defined a life of mindfulness and loving kindness long before those terms were first used. Long before pop culture turned them into an industry. A t-shirt slogan.

He goes on to describe how that instrument looks. It is one of understanding and giving. A life in service of love.

“Lord make me an instrument of peace

Where there is hatred let me sow love

Where there is injury, pardon

Where there is doubt, faith

Where there is despair, hope

Where there is darkness, light

And where there is sadness, joy

Oh divine master grant that I may

not so much seek to be consoled as to console

to be understood as to understand

To be loved as to love

For it is in giving that we receive

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned

It is in dying that we are born to eternal life”

This is how I want my life to be yet I often fail in these intentions. Instead, I want to be understood. To be consoled. To wade deeply in my sorrow. To be loved despite my shortcomings.

When I find myself on the needy end of the spectrum that runs from giving to receiving I remember that I can not only offer these gifts to myself, I should.

My efforts to be an instrument of peace must begin with myself because to offer peace to others I must first have it within me. The good news is that inner peace is often gained in the offering of it to others. It is a beautiful, endless, self-sustaining circle.

This was my meditation this morning:

That I forgive myself and not beat myself up for being human.

That I keep strong the faith that brought me here.

That I keep the flame of hope ever burning within me to light both bright days and dark nights.

That I be willing to find and feed my joy, especially when it seems so far away.

That I love myself as I wish to be loved by others and that I share that love regardless of my pain.

That peace isn’t just something we feel, it’s something we practice.

I believe I need more practice.

Peace be upon you.

Northern Lights over North Dakota

Northern.Lights.in.North.Dakota.by.Carl.Jones

I stand amazed
In a field of gold
Under a starry sky
Lit by green mist
A gentle wind sighs
Across the empty plain
After a cold rain
That has washed away
This far too short
Autumn day
Leaving the musky scent
Of harvest
And petrichor
To fill the chilled air

As the undulating stream
Of energy flows
I stand in silent wonder
Of such immense beauty
Taking my breath away
and dream

Oh, to take flight
Into this mystery
To join it there
So many miles away
Yet close enough to feel
It’s magic course
Through my veins
To sweep so high
I see from above
It’s glory
Then to dive
Through it’s dance
An play in its glory
To bathe in such light
Would be sublime
To be one with it
Divine

I close my eyes
let loose my soul
and fly

Image of the Northern Lights over North Dakota by Carl Jones

Giving Thanks

the_man_that_dreams_to_fly_by_Mary.Cimetta.jpg

 

I have so much to grateful for today that I don’t even know where to begin.

My life has gone through some changes over the years, from horrible to not worth mentioning to wanting to shout from rooftops just how good it is. It may sometimes feel like those changes are unique to me, but they are not. We all go through these changes. Our lives are marked by periods of unrest and beautiful pauses. All of us.

So today I am grateful for the knowledge that I have never been alone on this journey. Even when I was most lonely, and those times were plenty, I was progressing through life with an entire caravan of others. People I will never know sharing exactly the same experiences. All of us moving toward some desert oasis where the promise of life draws us. Calls to us.

Not everyone hears that call or can envision such a place. So I am grateful for that as well. The ability to see that the promise is always within view. Always within reach.

Mostly, I am grateful today for the ability to love and be loved. Even when I had neither I always had that ability and it is that ability that has led me to this place where emotions are as sweet as tangerines, the sky as bright and clear as my intentions, and my heart more full than I ever imagined possible yet has unlimited room for growth.

Happy Thanksgiving, all. You are loved!

 


 

Image: “The man that dreams to fly” by Mary Cimetta

There is a place

Lucid.by.Ozan.Vural.jpg

 
There is a place
Where feelings
are as solid as a tangerine
and just as sweet
Where the warm breeze
on an autumn noon
cools salty skin
with the whispered voice of nymphs
Where the sound of the owl
blends with the melody of trees
and crickets
and laughing children
like a chorus
Where the scent of wild lavender
and citrus
and ancient oaks
that stretch beyond the endless horizon
can be tasted on the air
Where the senses are so keen
that the march of an ant
is heard above the roar of a plane
the breath of a bird
becomes a song
the beating hearts
and working legs
of a caterpillar
tap out staccato beats
as it crunches on a leaf

Where the passing of time
is controlled by will
to keep the sun and moon
close

It is a place
where the touch of my lover
is like the hand of God herself
and her kisses
are each a blessing

I am in that place

 


 

Image: “Lucid” by Ozan Vural

always

transcendence_by_kelogsloops-Hieu

my lips long to kiss you
     the taste of you
    electric

my hands desire to hold you
     the feel of you
    a dream state

my body craves to join you
     the touch of you
    nirvana

my soul is moved by you
     the essence of you
    transcendent

you are the light
in the dark night
     that makes clear
     the muddy path

the cool wind that whispers
in the slowing heat
     “I am with you”
     “I am with you”
  “I am yours”

you are all I ever wanted
     and more
    more
   so much more

come with me
     now
     here with me
          stay with me
          stay

          always

Image: “Transcendence” by Hieu