Wild Geese on a Winter’s Day

Often there are very subtle threads that hold us to life and to the belief that everything is ultimately worthwhile. They reveal themselves in sometimes overlooked daily details: the smell of freshly baked bread from the kitchen, the way the sun highlights the red amaryllis on the dining room table, a snatch of song from a neighbor’s apartment. All these make up life’s tapestry and fill us with delight if we are able to fully receive them. They balance out any sadness or dismay about how things are unfolding and uplift us at the most unexpected moments. This is the magic of allowing your life to carry you to the heart of all experience: Heavenly gifts are always arriving.

For me, one day last month, it was the sight and sound of wild Canada geese flying overhead against the blue winter sky as I stepped outside for my afternoon walk. And it was the unexpected sight of 8 to 10 robins in a bare tree, calling excitedly in the January air. Birds always open my heart and awaken me to full consciousness. Their place on this planet is one of such grace and beauty. So many beings and events hold this promise for each of us, in Nature or in our own homes. These are the threads; this is the tapestry of which we too are a part. The words you speak may give someone else hope or solace. Your very presence is a light in the lives of those who love you.

I remind myself of this when the gray days of winter seem endless and I can barely remember spring. Or perhaps it is God who reminds me, who shows me vibrant life (wild geese and cheery robins) even on a cold colorless day. It is the gift we carry with us always. As the French writer Albert Camus so beautifully expressed it, “In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.” Beauty and meaning are etched into our souls. Divine vision skates along the surface of our lives, continuously available for our inspiration and sustenance. The very air we breathe awakens us to the day before us. Our senses greet the ordinary, making it extraordinary.

All this is waiting for you if you allow the doors and windows of your life to remain open, if you allow life to flow in and touch your awareness. In those moments, there is no question about whether life is worthwhile. You are so immersed in the wonders of the present moment that thinking recedes; full-hearted beingness carries you forward through life. This is the best of living, available to each of us, if we so choose. Poet Mary Oliver, wrote a perfect description of this:

“I look; morning to night I am never done with looking.
Looking I mean not standing around, but standing around
as though with your arms open.”

These moments await you and me. Each day is a new miracle to be experienced. The more engaged you become in this way of being, the more all inner queries about purpose, reasons, or outcome fall away. Disappointment disappears, and only celebration remains. This is the life of Spirit, fully embraced and expressed.

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