Little Altars Everywhere

 

When the smallness of my vision
Dampens all hope inside, I simply watch
And these clumsy feet keep moving.

When what could have been
Turns bitter and dusty from wear
I feel the tiniest move as a miracle.

When the bit is cold in my mouth and
When daylight reveals only a potholed
Road, just the sound of my feet can comfort.

Rising up from this pain is not grand or special
If it says anything it says stardust knows
It says come with me just one more time.

Miracles always have their own strange rhythm
To know them is to place power into the possible
And God is as surprised as anyone when they happen.

– Dale Biron, “Miracles”

Little Altars Everywhere

 

A garden inside me, unknown, secret,
neglected for years,
the layers of its soil deep and thick.
Trees in the corners with branching arms
and the tangled briars like broken nets.

Sunrise through the misted orchard,
morning sun turns silver on the pointed twigs,
I have woken from the sleep of ages and I am not sure
if I am really seeing, or dreaming,
or simply astonished
walking towards sunrise
to have stumbled into the garden
where the stone was rolled from the tomb of longing.

– David Whyte, “Easter Morning in Wales”

Little Altars Everywhere

 

Every day
I see or hear
something
that more or less

kills me
with delight,
that leaves me
like a needle

in the haystack
of light.
It was what I was born for —
to look, to listen,

to lose myself
inside this soft world —
to instruct myself
over and over

in joy,
and acclamation.
Nor am I talking
about the exceptional,

the fearful, the dreadful,
the very extravagant —
but of the ordinary,
the common, the very drab,

the daily presentations.
Oh, good scholar,
I say to myself,
how can you help

but grow wise
with such teachings
as these —
the untrimmable light

of the world,
the ocean’s shine,
the prayers that are made
out of grass?

– Mary Oliver, “Mindful”

Little Altars Everywhere

 

Now is the time to know
That all that you do is sacred.
Now, why not consider
A lasting truce with yourself and God.
Now is the time to understand
That all your ideas of right and wrong
Were just a child’s training wheels
To be laid aside
When you finally live
With veracity
And love.
Hafiz is a divine envoy
Whom the Beloved
Has written a holy message upon.
My dear, please tell me,
Why do you still
Throw sticks at your heart
And God?
What is it in that sweet voice inside
That incites you to fear?
Now is the time for the world to know
That every thought and action is sacred.
This is the time
For you to compute the impossibility
That there is anything
But Grace.
Now is the season to know
That everything you do
Is sacred.
– Hafiz, “Today”

Little Altars Everywhere

 

May you wake with a sense of play,
An exultation of the possible.
May you rest without guilt,
Satisfied at the end of a day well done.
May all the rough edges be smoothed,
If to smooth is to heal,
And the edges be left rough,
When the unpolished is more true
And infinitely more interesting.
May you wear your years like a well-tailored coat
Or a brave sassy scarf.
May every year yet to come:
Be one more bright button
Sewn on a hat you wear at a tilt.
May the friendships you’ve sown
Grown tall as summer corn.
And the things you’ve left behind,
Rest quietly in the unchangeable past.
May you embrace this day,
Not just as any old day,
But as this day.
Your day.
Held in trust
By you,
In a singular place,
Called now.

– Carrie Newcomer, “Blessing”