It’s all I have to bring to-day,
this and my heart, beside,
this and my heart and all the fields,
and all the meadows wide.
Be sure you count, should I forget—
someone the sum could tell,—
This, and my heart, and all the bees
which in the clover dwell.
Thank you, Emily Dickinson. I read this recently on a day when she was my bookish company and I found myself sighing a Yes. What I behold, the sometimes wild array of what I feel, all of what I write, say, think…Essentially, the whole of who I am… made manifest in a multitude of ways and circumstances (the doing and being)… it is all I have to bring or offer…to God and the world around me. And at the same time this feels like an Everything, it also has me feeling, as someone dear to me put it, like one tiny grain of sand in the vastness of a beach.
Yesterday was my birthday—an opportunity to give thanks for having anything to offer at all! To give thanks for being-ness…with all of its facets, contradictions, curves and quirks and pokey bits. An opportunity to give thanks for my senses and my stride; my perspective and mind; for laughter, for language, for passion and for soul. To give thanks for it All.
I spent the morning working at the Centre and tried to put some good out into the universe; I received messages of care and wishes for well-being and blessing in the coming year; I rocked out to some songs and had gentle tears with others; witnessed the arresting beauty of the ocean’s power and was taken in by the fog’s mystical cloaking; I smiled and laughed with people beside me and with people thousands of kilometres away, sipped tea, drank a bottle of really good rootbeer; and tasted hoisin sauce for the first time (For the record: It’s delicious with roasted asparagus). I was hugged and held and kissed and had the chance to do the same; I spoke of living; I spoke of dying; and sometimes I spoke nothing at all because words had lifted away and a bigger, deeper, wider, silence came visiting with its own being-ness to offer.
In that silence at the end of the day, the past act of coming into this world and the present moment of living in this world, the offering of who I am, rolled forward into the years to come. I confess to being one who finds it challenging to imagine the future—in part because I think it all depends on choices we make one day at a time…each of us, each grain of sand on the beach. Choices to be open to God and the universe, to beauty, to awe, to wonder…open to being our best ‘being’ in the midst of what is real and what is true.
As I considered all of this last night and what that best might look like for me, now “one year shy of being half an antique” as someone wrote in a card, I went searching through Facebook for a song someone had recently posted:
This whole world is spinning crazy
and I can’t quite keep up;
It’s the one thing around here
that we don’t have quite enough of
so I just wanna look a little more like love.
—More Like Love— Ben Rector (lyrics)
Yesterday was my birthday. Today is the feast of the Epiphany. In his poem, The Journey of the Magi, T.S. Eliot imagines the trek of those who want to make an offering to the God-child.
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
sleeping in snatches,
with the voices singing in our ears, saying
that this was all folly.
Recalling the event in the voice of an older traveller, Eliot goes on to speak of their arrival, not a moment too soon, and their own three-fold epiphany…
They’d do it all again; the meaning of what they witnessed was not as clear as they’d thought along the way; and they knew things would never be the same.
I’m right there with them.
Maybe that’s exactly how it is…when the journey is ever of Love and ever toward Love.