Tag Archives: wonder

A Song in My Heart

clefs-heart

I often wake these days with a song in my heart. I begin my day with my usual routines, and sometimes I don’t notice the song that is singing in me until later in the morning. Most days, I begin to hum the tune or sing the words of the song that is in my heart.

Through my life, I’ve taken to noticing the song in my heart. I listen to the words, singing them inside my head, or singing aloud into the house. The cat notices, and I think she smiles, a bit (who knows?).   When I remember the words – I am known for the encyclopedia of words to songs I carry within me – I sing them out loud, enjoying my voice, enjoying the memory of the words, and calling to mind the memories and images that arise.

When I was a girl, my mother had a lovely china music box with a tune I cannot name. I can still sing the notes, and often do. When I stop and notice the tune, my mother comes to mind. I see her face, I remember her voice, I wonder about her and her life. What a wonderful bit of beauty that music box was, in our working class flat with its narrow windows and steep, dark stairway down to the street lined with wonderful maple trees that would disappear, killed by disease, in the years ahead.
That music box is gone, too. Sometimes my sister and I mention it. Where did it go? Which one of us ended its role in our lives?  Where did it come from, an unusual player in the life of my mother?

And yet, that music box, with its unnamed melody, has not gone from our lives. We sing its song, its beautiful song, still.

We sing its holy song, the song that arrives from the depths, a gift to this day.

Sometimes the tune that plays in my head is from a later time in my life. I mimic Aretha Franklin, or John Lennon. My song takes on the cadence of some rock n’ roll song, and sometimes, I dance. I love to dance, and the song takes on movement, in my body, in my heart, in my house, in my life…

Every day has its theme, a theme decided in some deeper place within me, the place from which the melodies arise.  I am grateful for these songs; in earlier years, when work and schedules and calendars and meeting the needs of others – and the anxiety of meeting those needs – was so important in my life, I awoke many days without a song in my heart.  Did the songs go underground?  Were the songs like plants and animals that disappear in the winter?  Is this time of life a spring-time?

What is the melody for this time of life?

IMG_0667Overlooking the Bering Sea, Unalaska, AK

Life is the color of things:

of place, of thoughts, of people, of sky and trees.

(I have lived in gray, know that place well, for which I am grateful –

for its gift is to know, for the first time, the color of things).

Life is the color of things, and

it is good to breathe the riches of sky and earth,

of shadows across sky, of green grass that carries earth’s fragrance,

of long autumns and bright maples, of spring melting snow banks,

of a navy blue awakening, dawn.

The color of things lives in the eyes of friends, when sadness lurks,

when pain is not covered with dull happiness.  The color of things, this gift, earth, and all

that is in it,the heart, and all that is in it.

 

meb/01/2016

 

 

A Life of Awe

awe_some

This week, a group of scientists will be meeting at the University of California at Berkeley to talk about their research findings as they have studied “the science of awe.” Through their scientific research, these scientists have determined that spending time in nature is good for human beings; experiencing nature brings us to a sense of awe.

Is that why “awesome” is over-used in the conversation of so many of us these days? For example: “I’ll see you at two o’clock, then.” “Awesome!” That word, “awesome” infects our vocabulary. Listen for it.

Although our ordinary lives may cause us to forget, I think that most of us know the experience of awe when we experience awe! We know – as often as we may be guilty of “over-awe-ing” it – that some moments, some sights, some feelings, some fleeting bit of light brings us to a sense, an experience of awe. For that moment, we are stunned to find ourselves floating in a deep feeling that may over whelm us, with gratitude, with joy, with – awe!

And then, the moment passes.

I am sure that the good people of indigenous cultures knew awe as well as we know awe. While their lives were certainly not easy – one could argue that our lives are not easy, either, although for different reasons – there must have been moments when they were stopped in their tracks by a beautiful sunset, a shining tree, the birth of a baby, the first light of morning on the trees, the sight of their home after a time away. Perhaps they were stunned into awe to witness a healing, to witness a death. And so are we.

Awe = a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder, a noun, according the the dictionary on my Apple computer.

Sometimes, life takes your breath away.  Sometimes, with tears running down your cheeks, you must completely stop what you are doing to fully savor the present moment, to see your child’s face light up with joy, to watch a deer leap into the woods, to see the light just-so as day passes into dusk.

I don’t need scientists to teach me about awe.  I’m sure you don’t, either.  The experience of “awe” seems almost primal, so basic to us that we know it when we receive it.  And awe does seem to have the element of gift, of being gifted, attached to it.  We receive awe, we receive the gift, we are grateful for the gift.

The practice of “awe” can be a deep spiritual practice.  Wait, watch, be present every day for the experience of awe.  This practice may take some slowing down!  Whatever you have on your list to do today, be mindful, watch!, notice that moment that may come when you must simply witness, you must be in awe, that state of presence/joy that stops you for a moment, a wonderful, rich, complete moment you could not have created yourself.  It simply is.

And, BTW – have an “awesome” day!