Friday, August 14, 2009


Party preparation underway - “Don't waste life in doubts and fears; spend yourself on the work before you, well assured that the right performance of this hour's duties will be the best preparation for the hours and ages that will follow it.”

In her poem "Aurora Leigh," Elizabeth Bar­rett Browning wrote:

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes,
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

I have certainly plucked my share of black­berries, blind to what wonder there is in life. But on occasion I have also had my eyes opened by others, a bit more sensitive and aware. I cherish those mo­ments and recall them when life gets too routine and ordinary. I'll never forget one such moment.

I stumbled out the door of a mountain cabin where I was spending the weekend working with youth and their families at a rustic retreat center. I had a 6:30 a.m. appointment to keep and squinted from the early autumn sun peeking over pine-blan­keted mountaintops.

"Today is a miracle!" spoke a young, enthu­siastic voice behind me. I turned toward the radiant face of my teen-aged friend.

"How?" I asked her. I wasn't sure if I could handle any excitement this early in the morning.

"Think about it," she smiled. "The sun rose, didn't it?"

"Yeah." I found it easy to hide any enthusi­asm. It seemed to rise on every other morning with­out any help from me.

"That's a miracle! It is miraculous that the earth turns as it does. At night, the sun goes down and in the morning it rises. It just happens!"

I pretty much had this figured out years ago, I thought, as I rubbed sleep from my eyes. I was also busy thinking about how to get a cup of coffee.

"And look at the mountains! Covered with trees and grass, they look so beautiful. And there," she pointed, "a valley. It's all a miracle!"

"What have I stumbled into?" I thought. "And where is the coffee?"

"Wildflowers blooming," she continued. "It all smells so fresh and clean and so good." She took a deep breath. Her blue eyes sparkled. "All of na­ture receives water and light. Things grow and blos­som -- it is all so beautiful."

Maybe it wasn't coffee I needed...but whatever she had gotten into! I didn't know if it was her bubbly personal­ity or the freshness of the morning, but I began to sense her enchantment with the daybreak. A little, anyway. Somehow, she had me believing that the day did hold a certain magic.

Then, with a smile that seemed to make her blonde curls laugh, she gave her pronouncement a note of finality. "And best of all, it will happen again tomorrow. And the next day! And the next!" She sighed. "It's a miracle morning!"

My young friend showed wisdom beyond her years. For her, earth was "crammed with heaven" and "every bush afire." She should never want for happiness, for she had already learned, at such an early age, to find wonder in the common­place and to feel gratitude for the ordinary. If each day for her is a miracle, then a lifetime will be no less than a mar­velous extravaganza!

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

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