A place to stand

The question we need to ask ourselves is whether there is any place we can stand in ourselves where we can look at all that’s happening around us without freaking out, where we can be quiet enough to hear our predicament, and where we can begin to find ways of acting that are at least not contributing to further destabilization

Ram Dass

A newly formed day

The paleontologist Teilhard de Chardin carried a notebook in which he had written, among other things, a morning prayer:

“Be pleased yet once again to come down

and breathe a soul into the newly formed, fragile film of matter

with which this day the world is to be freshly clothed.”

Seeing land

The ocean of suffering is immense, but if you turn around, you can see the land. The seed of suffering in you may be strong, but don’t wait until you have no more suffering before allowing yourself to be happy. When one tree in the garden is sick, you have to care for it. But don’t overlook all the healthy trees. Even while you have pain in your heart, you can enjoy the many wonders of life — the beautiful sunset, the smile of a child, the many flowers and trees. To suffer is not enough. Please don’t be imprisoned by your suffering.

 Thich Nhat Hanh

Small forgotten miracles

“It is believed that the onion originally came from India. 
In Egypt it was an object of worship — why I haven’t been able to find out. From Egypt the onion entered Greece and on to Italy, thence into all of Europe.” 
Better Living Cookbook 
 

When I think how far the onion has traveled
just to enter my stew today, I could kneel and praise
all small forgotten miracles,
crackly paper peeling on the drainboard,
pearly layers in smooth agreement,
the way the knife enters onion
and onion falls apart on the chopping block,
a history revealed.
And I would never scold the onion
for causing tears.
It is right that tears fall
for something small and forgotten.
How at meal, we sit to eat,
commenting on texture of meat or herbal aroma
but never on the translucence of onion,
now limp, now divided,
or its traditionally honorable career:
For the sake of others,
disappear.

Naomi Shihab Nye