I popped into my husband’s office today to bring him something and found that he’d created a stone circle on the top of a small cupboard. I could just picture him talking on the phone to one of his colleagues in New York or Zurich or somewhere, letting his hands make something beautiful and sacred, almost as if he wasn’t aware. (He later confirmed this was true.) I couldn’t help but take a photo:
The statues behind the circle are from Mexico, a gift from a Mexican friend — and are clearly full of holy women’s magic.
Stumbling accidentally over this lovely thing got me thinking.
A few people have been in touch over the past while, all filled with a considerable amount of pain and yes, self-pity, and regret and general bafflement. Must be something in the air, or maybe the season.
It happens. Life’s like that. We find ourselves in places we hadn’t intended, sometimes doing things we didn’t think we’d do. But maybe there’s some magic in that as well, something holy, although it feels like an accident.
I’ve been doing a 30 days of gratitude meditation recently. What I find interesting about it is a) that it clarifies for me what’s important to me and b) it’s a well-established practice for developing an open, curious heart; one that’s on the lookout for good stuff instead of bad.
I thought I might try the same thing here, so you all can share it with me, by which I mean not only can you see what I’m thinking about, but you can tell me what you’re grateful for as well.
Because really, what is holy gratitude except another name for accidental magic?
So.. For today:
Below is one of my favorite poems, a kind of prayer, certainly. It reminds me of the daily miracles of my ordinary life. Maybe you’d like to read it, and then think about what simple thing greets you in the morning to fill you with wonder and gratitude.
by Anne Sexton
There is joy
in the hair I brush each morning,
in the Cannon towel, newly washed,
that I rub my body with each morning,
in the chapel of eggs I cook
in the outcry from the kettle
that heats my coffee
in the spoon and the chair
that cry “hello there, Anne”
in the godhead of the table
that I set my silver, plate, cup upon
All this is God,
right here in my pea-green house
and I mean,
though often forget,
to give thanks,
to faint down by the kitchen table
in a prayer of rejoicing
as the holy birds at the kitchen window
peck into their marriage of seeds.
So while I think of it,
let me paint a thank-you on my palm
for this God, this laughter of the morning,
lest it go unspoken.
The Joy that isn’t shared, I’ve heard,
And thank you, Anne Sexton.
How about you?
Lauren, thanks for sharing this beautiful example of “presence” and “gratitude”. It is a complement to your view about “daily miracles of my ordinary life”.
Please keep writing. kind regards, Sarah
Thanks so much, Sarah. Very kind.