All Shall Be Well

There are those tunes that get stuck in your head, you know, the ones you are humming just under your breath even when you don’t realize it. They become little soundtracks that follow you around all day as if your life is a movie and this music is the theme. Often these songs are inane, even irritating jingles that make you want to shake your head until the notes jar loose and fall on the pavement as you walk. They can become mind numbing or make you feel like you might be going over the deep end. Ever had this kind of experience? Of course the fact that these tunes are called ‘ear worms’ doesn’t conjure up pleasant images.

Yesterday I woke up and soon after my feet found their grounding, I realized that I already had a song going through my head. As I walked down the stairs and into the kitchen for the first cup of coffee of the day, I began humming. Now, starting your day with a song is not a bad thing but I wondered, had I dreamed about this song? I didn’t remember any music themed dreams. In fact I couldn’t remember any of the stories that had played their way out while I had attempted to get my nightly rest.

My husband was moving about the kitchen by this time and then he remarked to me that he had a tune in his head and he told me what it was. I was astonished to learn that we had both awakened to the day with the same tune flitting through our subconscious! We admitted that we did not know the fullness of the words to this song, only snippets. We recognized that we had sung the song earlier in the week at the pub sing we attend sometimes and laughed that we both had it weaving little tunnels in our brains.

The ear worm that had been our night time gift? It is a lovely little folk song called ‘The Bells of Norwich.’ It is based on words attributed to the 14th century Christian mystic Julian of Norwich. This gentle woman who made her home in the eastern English city is recognized by the Anglican and Lutheran churches for her devotion and writings in the Revelations of Divine Love. Somehow I think she would love the tune and the intent of the words written by Sydney Carter.

Loud are the bells of Norwich and the people come and go.
Here by the tower of Julian, I tell them what I know.
Ring out, bells of Norwich, and let the winter come and go
All shall be well again, I know.
Love, like the yellow daffodil, is coming through the snow.
Love, like the yellow daffodil, is Lord of all I know.
Ring for the yellow daffodil, the flower in the snow.
Ring for the yellow daffodil, and tell them
what I know.
All shall be well again, I know.”

The chorus of “All shall be well again, I know” are the words pulled from Julian’s often quoted phrase ‘All shall be well, all manner of things shall be well.’ They are words that have brought comfort to many over these years, myself included. Earlier in the week when we sang this song with a room full of people, there were smiles that crossed faces when we made music of the words ‘let the winter come and go’. It was as if we were saying an official goodbye to this never-ending winter that has had us in its grip. But even bigger smiles erupted as we lifted our voices in praise of the simple, lowly daffodil. We all seemed to collectively sing a resounding ‘Yes!’ as minds imagined those yellow blossoms so full of hope that are on the horizon.

But is was Julian’s words that once again settled on us all. “All shall be well again…..all manner of things shall be well again….I know.” It was a deep affirmation borne on a simple tune that burrowed its way into the places that had been cold and without growth for too long. At least one of the singers mentioned the many losses he had experienced over the last months. I know it is true also in the circles in which I travel. Loss has seemed to fall on so many like a heavy cloak that has weighed down spirits and created a desperation for change, rebirth, new life.

So today I will recognize the ear worm that visited our home as the gift it became, a gift that was still spinning through my mind as a fell asleep last night. Over the years the wisdom of Julian reached out in a visitation and reminded us of the eternal calm and comfort that rests at the heart of the Universe….all shall be well…..all shall be well….all shall be well again.

So be it.


Wild and Precious

The last days have been full to overflowing. The result of this has been that I have not visited this space in the way I like to do. When I first began blogging ‘Pause’ nearly seven years ago, it was something I had planned to do only for the season of Advent. It was to have been a way for busy people from the faith community I serve, those who spend much of their day in front of a screen and keyboard, to pause for a few minutes and reflect on the season. For most people those days that lead to Christmas can be also filled to overflowing….work, family, shopping, parties, and all the trappings of taking an already full life and layering it with more.

What I found at the end of those days in which I thought I was doing something for other people became a practice that filled some place in me, some deep place that needed to speak, and so this space has been home to my observations, thoughts, ramblings, hopes and ways of seeing the movement of the Holy in the every day for what has become years. It has resulted in one book and soon to be another. The writing has become a practice that has shaped my days and helped me to have a record of my own spiritual journey.

These last days when I have allowed myself to be kept from these pages for all kinds of good reasons has caused me to think about all the things we don’t do as humans,things that when omitted from our lives cause us to feel at loose ends, disconnected, lost, cranky. We all know that some form of physical exercise is important, good, something that adds to our overall health. And yet, when life gets too full, taking a walk, going to the gym, rising from our desk and just walking the halls, falls by the wayside. The same can be said for fueling our bodies with good food, fresh vegetables and fruit rather than the quick grab of something in a box or wrapper when our schedules get piled up.

This thought process led me to think of the people I know who add those life-giving acts to their calendars. They add the things that are truly important to feeding their souls, to fueling their overall health, right in there with meetings and appointments and then they stick to it. 8:00 a.m… out……2:00 p.m…..write………. 7:00 p.m………..draw…….whatever it is that feeds their inner, spiritual fire gets added in the mix of all the other activities and responsibilities that can pull at them. These are folks who are less likely to end up in that crispy, crabby place most of us find ourselves in from time to time.

Someplace in the scriptures, in Romans I believe, there are words about ‘ doing those things I should not do and not doing the things I should’. As I recall these words were meant to define sin…..that which separates us from God, that which tricks us into denying that we are images of the Divine. Oftentimes our busy-ness does this. Even if that busy-ness is comprised of good works or even important work. It is easy to lose sight of oneself in even these seemingly noble acts. Has this been your experience?

Another writer of wisdoms’ voice then floats over all this….”Tell me, what do you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Poet Mary Oliver’s words cut right to the heart of the matter. What do I, what do you, plan to do with the gift of this day, this life? What will we do to nurture the heart of who we are and who we are called to be in our time, in the place we have been planted? How will we connect with the Spirit within this day?

There is no doubt that much will pull at the edges of today. There will be obligations, responsibilities, tasks, to-do lists galore. May I, may you find the way to weave within all of it the threads of what feeds our inner life, that place where we find a holy connection, and know ourselves. Wild. Precious. Full-lived.


Prayer Baskets

In dairy, granary, or in the fields, each worshipped God in his appointed task, and made his toil a sacramental thing….. The secret of the early Celts lay in this, that they linked sacrament with service, altar with hearth, worship with work.”
~F.M. McNeill/Troup, Celtic Daily Prayer:Prayers and Readings of the Northumbria Community

Once again the daily devotional I read in the morning gave me fuel for the day. As I read the words above, I imagined the lives of those who might see their work… the barn, in the field,in the kitchen….as sacrament. I imagined the farmer who felt the heat of the dairy cow’s body, its sweet, pungent odor wafting up toward his weathered face while milk pounds loudly in the pail.I imagined all those who worked in fields, planting, tending, harvesting to provide food for their own tables and the tables of others. How might the work be different for the worker if seen through the lens of sacrament… outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace.

These days find few farmers using their own hands to do the work described above. Machines and technology carry out these once human tasks. And so it is for most of us. Our work is housed in keyboard and servers and machinations invisible to us. The daily movements of our work depend on things other than earth, water, wind and sun. While we know that the food that makes its way to our tables had its origin in these places, we are most often far removed from its landscape and its sacrament. Is it even possible to think of the work we now do as sacred, as holy? I wonder.

Perhaps it is not the work itself that is sacred but the way in which we do it. This reflection on the life’s work of the early Celts described an act of making prayer baskets. These baskets which no doubt were created to hold harvest and laundry and any number of ordinary things, were woven as people poured prayer into the push and pull of reed. As the single reeds began to be formed into something, not singular but multi-layered, a basket was formed of the prayers of the one who was weaving. Strand upon strand became a container for carrying all the while infused with the prayers of the one who created it. In many ways these baskets must have mirrored the very Creation itself. So many acts coming together held in hope and promise and prayer…..sacrament.

This illustration made me wonder: Is it possible to see the work we do as sacred? Is it possible to take the piece of paper or the cradled phone and hold it in a holy way? Is it possible to fill the ordinary, perhaps even monotonous movements of work, with prayer? Is it possible to make our ‘toil a sacramental thing’?

Certainly some work is easier to see the Holy in than others. Caring for a child, holding the newness of that life close to you, marveling at its possibility seems impossible to not see the holy there. The same could be said for those who care for the elderly and the dying. Offering a cool drink or a warm touch, a kind word or a gentle laugh seems an act of prayer, an extension of God in the moment. Many are beginning to dream of the seeds they will plant, the flowers, vegetables, fruits their toil will bring into the world. Oh, how we long for this sacred growing after such a winter!

But most of us make our days….which is our life….by work that is not so obviously sacred. Screens, printers, engines, dishwashers, vacuums, assembly lines, freeways, the full throttled living of our time can keep us removed from any notion of weaving prayer baskets. My sense is that those early Celts did what they did, created the sacramental life they had, out of choice. And so, in that spirit, can we.

How might this day be different if you thought of your work as holy, as sacred as going to the communion table? Each movement, each interaction, each spoken or written word, all an act of prayer. In this season of Lent, in this particular winter that will not go away, it seems a worthwhile thing to try.


Blessing of Tears

That I may be filled with them.
That I may be emptied by them.

That they may challenge
my silence.
That they may lead me
to speech.

That I may name each one.
That I may be named by each one.

That they may teach me
of my sorrow.
That they may lead me
to my strength.”
~Jan L. Richardson

These words are titled “Blessing of the Tears”. I went searching for them this morning. Earlier in the week I mentioned that these days are proving to be very ‘Lentish’. As the days have progressed into this season, this reflective heaviness has continued. So many in the circles I travel are walking in the valley of the shadow of death. In our particular faith community, we have celebrated the lives of so many in memorials or funerals in a very compacted time. Over the years of holding this work I do, this can often happen. Months will go by and there are no deaths and then several will happen within the course of a few days, a few weeks. It can provide a certain context for one’s own life. Ordinary acts become more precious. Friends and loved ones seem more beautiful than ever. Perspective for the things we can believe to be so important, fall away, leaving what it truly vital in a bright light.

Those who know me well know me as a crier. Tears come easily to me and sometimes at what, for others, might seem odd times. Sunrises…..tears. Light falling just so on the trunk of a tree….tears. The way a child has of looking so hopefully at a parent’s face….tears. A prayer spoken in vulnerability….tears. People greeting one another at street corners, in airports, on Sunday morning…tears. Some might see this as weakness and I ask their forgiveness. My own belief is that I simply see the world for what it is…..beautiful….fragile….fleeting….to be held in sacred trust.

Are humans the only ones who cry? I don’t know the answer to that question. I have certainly been in the presence of dogs and cats who seem to be holding sadness or at least sorrow, a sense of loss. In the early mornings of summer, there is a single mourning dove who calls out a haunting cry that I have convinced myself is for its lost partner. Who knows. I just know that the call connects me with the bird’s perceived sorrow and maybe my own.

Tears have welled up in my eyes over injustices I have witnessed. Those same tears have been loosed by an anger that goes bone deep. When words will not come together to scream to the world, tears pour out what is too important not to be spoken in some form. After all, what brings tears into our lives shapes us and challenges us to move toward action, toward reflection and resolution, toward healing and hope.

As one who makes a home in the Christian household, I think of the act of baptism. That time when we place water on a forehead and remind a child, an adult, a parent that from the very beginning, they have been called ‘Beloved’. Our tears….that water that pours forth from within our humble body….blesses us again with water, with naming, with a reminder of who and whose we are.

Today may we each be blessed, not only with tears, but with the strength they eventually bring. A strength that speaks ‘Beloved’. A strength that remind us of the many ways being alive is holding the joy and sorrow of the other. Each and every amazing day.



“Through the weeks of deep snow
we walked above the ground
on fallen sky, as though we did
not come of root and leaf, as though
we had only air and weather
for our difficult home.
But now
as March warms, and the rivulets
run like birdsong on the slopes
and the branches of light sing in the hills,
slowly we return to earth.”
~Wendell Berry

Sometimes what is happening can only be spoken by the poet. These days in which we find ourselves, these March days of thawing and rebirth, are just such days. Oh, we can read the weather reports. We can listen to long, drawn out descriptions of what it happening, but it really takes the poet to get to the marrow of the predicament.

A week ago Sunday, I read this poem of Wendell Berry to begin our worship together. We were not yet in a place of melting. People’s faces had that wounded,glazed look of too much winter. And yet they also shone forth their faithfulness, or stubbornness, by being present, by showing up though the easy and warmer thing to do would have been to stay in bed, pull the covers over their heads and go back to sleep. Sleep as a form of escape. We laughed at the word ‘rivulets’ then. Laughed at this beautiful word that flows, as it should, off the tongue. We laughed because it was not yet so and we had no hope yet in sight of when its presence might indeed flow, not only out our mouths, but down our hills, our sidewalks, our streets.

Now the laughter has turned to a kind of giddiness. Though the warmth is still a temperature that would make most of the country shiver, Minnesotans are taking these above freezing temperatures and opening them like gifts at a child’s birthday party. Short sleeves and even short pants can be seen everywhere. The puffy, down coats that we thought we could not face one more day have been abandoned.

And everywhere…..rivulets! Yesterday I sat all day in the round chapel at Koinonia Retreat Center on Lake Sylvia. The windows allow a nearly 360 degree view of forest, lake, and a landing strip for birds at both feeders and trees. All day long water, rivulets of melting snow, dripped down outside the window, baptizing us all with the spring that is arriving. The water was not only visible but audible. A slow sound of water running, splashing, coming out of its frozen form right before our eyes.

Like Wendell Berry, farmer and poet extraordinaire, I was reminded of the months when sky and earth had become one pattern of blue reflecting on white forming a swath of sameness. We walked upon it forgetting the earth that lay beneath, the earth from which we came and to which we will return, as we are reminded on Ash Wednesday. The winter months can keep us isolated from that deep knowing.

But now as the ground thaws and we begin to see the snow make way for the brown, gooey mud that will emerge, ‘slowly’ we return to the earth. The earth that will hold the seeds and the stalk, the footprint and the hope of yet another year of growth and beauty. We would not understand the fullness of this had it not been for the months of ‘walking on fallen sky’. We would not long for it so deeply if we had not known ‘weather as our difficult home’. Personally, I think it is all a part of some grand plan to keep us honest……grounded……grateful…..full of wonder. I know it works for me.

Today, may you be blessed with rivulets. May you say that word and love how it feels rolling off your tongue. May the pure loveliness of its letters making meaning fill you with hope for all that is yet to be as we ‘slowly return to earth’.



“Permit yourself the luxury of doing just one thing.”
~Lao Tzu

These are the words that greeted me as I slipped into my chair. The retreat I am blessed to be a part of in these beginning days of Lent is made up of clergy from around Minnesota. Half of us traveled together all last year in a process of reflection, art, words and deep silence as we seek to understand what it means to be in leadership, spiritual leadership, in authentic ways in the various communities in which we serve. Not the slick, prescribed ways that can sometimes make up the programs offered by ‘leadership’ books and consultants. There are no five easy steps to a better leader in this process. Only the long, hard look at one’s own self and the gifts planted there in some Mysterious pattern. This way of working is not for everyone. It doesn’t move quickly or in any linear way. It requires a certain giving over, a letting go of expectations, a piercing eye that looks at all our beauty marks and all our warts.

The notion of allowing the ‘luxury’ of doing just one thing’ is not only a lost art but one that might even be frowned upon in our multi-tasking world. We pride ourselves on being able to text, make supper, sign off on a big deal, correct the children’s spelling words, while listening to an audio book. Of course, science has shown that in living this way we are not only not doing any of these things well but that this many-pronged approach to working messes with our brains and our ability to maintain an attention span that matters. This doesn’t even touch on what this fractured living does to our relationships.

There was something quite profound for me to walk into the room on the sixth day of Lent and see these words. On Sunday we had heard the scripture story of Jesus’ trials in the desert. This wilderness journey which begins our forty days of reflective living carries all the wisdom of the ‘luxury of doing just one thing.’ Eat. Drink. Stay alive. Pray. Be your own best companion. Notice how the Holy shows up. These are all wilderness experiences, ones that require a certain presence that can’t be cluttered with multitasking. Paying attention to each gets you further down the path than trying to do two or more of them at the same time.

Wilderness comes to each of us. Some of us, it seems, more often than others. The wisdom of the wilderness, and I would say every day, is to remember the luxury of doing just one thing. It has been my experience that the impulse in any wilderness situation is to try to do as many things as one can to get out of there as fast as possible. Like the car stuck in mud or snow, spinning the tires faster and harder almost never propels the driver out of the hole that is being dug deeper and deeper. Doing one thing, gently, slowly, even quietly, usually has a better result.

So for all the people who are wilderness walking in these days of Lent, may you know the luxury of doing just one thing. For all those whose lives feel full to overflowing with too ‘muchness’, The blessing of a pause and one detail. For those simply trying to dance on the icy pavement or dodge the puddles of these thawing weeks, one safe step at a time. Put down the phone. Turn off the sound. Focus……on the luxurious gift of the present.


Lull in Lent

This Lent has started off very Lentish. Though Ash Wednesday was a real ‘high’ if that’s possible, the day after took a nose dive with lots of crazy,awful things happening in the lives of people I love and also in the life of the world. And although it is not as cold as it had been for over 50, count ’em, 50 days, the Sun seems to have gone somewhere to hide….like Florida or Arizona. At least when it was really, really cold, the Sun was doing its miraculous, brilliant work making the snow dance in a glittery way and making that beautiful contrast of a Mary-the-Mother-of-Jesus blue sky and white, white, white ground.

So, I am finding myself only three days into this season of reflection feeling a little off and not just a little bit down. But even as I write this I want to do one of those fake face slaps and tell myself to “Snap out of it!” I am, right now, reminding myself that along with a whole lot of other people I am unpacking what it means to walk, talk, live in the ‘Holy Way’, our faith community’s Lenten theme. And the journey along that Holy Way doesn’t mean that things are always rosy or positive, comfortable, or even pleasant. In fact, most of the time they are probably not.

I am reminded of the time a year or so ago when I fulfilled one of the things on my bucket list. My husband and I traveled in Ireland to a small fishing village on the southern coast so we could take a boat out to the island of Skellig Michael. I had read about this steep, rocky landscape that once was home to monks who prayed,wrote and illuminated scriptures with both pen and their lives. I had wanted to travel there for years after seeing their beehive huts perched high above the churning, icy waters of the Atlantic.

On a cloudy, rainy morning we boarded a small boat with several others and headed out into rough seas. The little boat was, we assumed equipped with life jackets but we were not told where they were. The water was choppy and sloshed over the edges of the boat. I was thankful to one of the other passengers who told me to ‘keep my eyes on the ‘horizon’ to prevent being sick. It worked. And we arrived some time later to climb onto the stone steps that had been chiseled out of the land. Waiting for the boat to pitch up in the air, as I had been instructed, I threw myself out of the boat and onto the island.

The wind was fierce and there were no railings to hold onto as we climbed the steep steps. I was frightened but just kept moving, slowly, and breathing deeply. Several times I had to tuck myself into the nook of a rock when it seemed the wind would pick me up and send me flying into the sea. As I walked I felt a deep connection with those faithful ones who had made this climb before, those who had sweat and bled to form a life close to God in this place. I felt as if I might be being held in some of their courage.

Once we made our way to the top of the island and onto the plateau into which had been built a chapel, a cemetery and the huts that housed these ancient ones,the wind was less frightening. Inside the beehives, I sat looking out at the sea like a bird in its nest. Inside was sheer silence and I understood how their prayers had secured them in this sacred place.

The memory of this place came back to me this week because during our Ash Wednesday service, we were held my a looping set of images of what some have named as holy places. One of the images was of Skellig Michael. Seeing it projected, I was transported there and the sense memory of wind and rain, of fear and difficulty, of prayer and sacred silence was reborn in me.

The meaning of the word Lent, in its most ancient form is ‘to lengthen’. And the reason we call this season before Easter by this name is that the days will indeed become longer and the Sun will shine brighter and fuller. The snow will melt and the days will warm. We will see the rebirth of the Earth and of the lives of those who right now are walking difficult paths. We will, hopefully understand in some new way the life of Jesus and the movement of God in his life…..and what that might mean in our own.

The Holy Way is not an easy path but it is always a worthwhile path.The important thing is to remember to step carefully. Rest. Breathe. Pray. And repeat.


Worth Wearing

These ashes were once trees and shrubs,
And places where life was once lived to its fullest.
Once they were full of life.
Now they are black and grey.
But, mixed with the waters of our baptism,
make good fertilizer:
it will help the seeds of the gospel take deeper root in us
and bring forth the fruits,
the harvest of justice, peace and generosity.
These ashes are worth wearing………”

These ashes are worth wearing. We said these words together last night as we began our walk together as a community into the season of Lent. Once again we chose to engage in an ancient ritual of symbol and sentiment, mystery and earthiness. This beginning of the forty day walk toward Easter is not without its challenges and complexities. And yet it endures.

Last night I observed once again something I have noticed over the last several years. For some reason unknown to me, this service attracts many young people under the age of thirty. They come in the door of the sanctuary with a certain purpose and approach those of us who place ashes on their foreheads with their eyes wide open, looking deep. What draws them to this service? I can understand so many of the other worship experiences, but why this one? Here we will talk about mortality and being made up of ashes and even stardust…..all which will eventually return itself to the eternal. It is a mysterious and reflective time, not one filled with all the bells and whistles we trot out for high holy days, those we save for attracting new blood to the aging church.

The service is simple and straight forward and uncluttered. At some point of all the spoken words, we stop the talking and lay aside the modes of communication that drive our days. There comes a time when words are not enough and it takes the touch of skin on skin and the stare of eye to eye. It is the reminder, both to the person who is having ashes placed on their forehead and also the one doing the placing, that this life we live, these days we walk, are fragile, illusive, holy beyond any words. Last night, with each cross I made on the forehead of another, the ashes pressed further and further into my own fingerprint, a visible pressing of earth’s existence into the unique swirls of my skin.

This intimacy, this connection is what truly draws people, I believe. Where else in the course of any day does anyone say ‘ your living matters’? Where else in the patterns of our working and playing, our striving and our failing, are we given the message that these earth bodies we walk around in are a part of all the soil and sun, all the Ancient Breath, that ever was or ever will be? Once a year at least, it is good to be reminded.

For some reason last night after the service, I wanted an orange very badly. I have no idea why the taste and feel of an orange became such an intense desire but I stopped by the grocery store to satisfy this deep want. Walking out of the store, my precious oranges only a few minutes from my lips, I passed another ‘ash-wearer’ coming into the store. Our eyes met and we knew something about one another that we would not have known on another day. Though I did not say it aloud, I did in my head: “These ashes are worth wearing.”

This morning the orange has become a part of me just as I will someday become a part of the orange. It is all a part of the Mystery that we don’t allow ourselves to think of on a daily basis. But once a year, those of us in the Christian household stop what we are doing for just long enough to walk into a place where are reminded of the shared body of our existence. Someone takes the dry, lifeless dirt and makes a cross on our forehead….east, west, north, south…..and looking us in the eye we come to our senses. Once again we wear our vulnerability for all to see.


St. David

“Do ye the little things in life.”
~St. David

For most of you, a holiday probably flew by without notice. March 1st is St.David’s day and in the area of the country where I was born and grew up there would have been banquets featuring potato-leek soup and tables adorned with bouquets of daffodils. St. David is the patron saint of Wales, whose cathedral and former monastery sit in a lush, green area on the southwestern coast of Wales. Daffodils are the national flower of country and St. David is, for some reason, often associated with the green and hardy leek. In addition to the yellow flowers and the not so colorful soup, there would have been singing. With the Welsh, there is always singing and for this I am grateful and sorry to have not been present at one of these celebrations.

On Saturday as I did my ritual turn of the calendar pages onto a new month, I made a mental note that it was St. David’s Day. And several times over the last couple of days I have thought about those things that go into creating the rituals that surround the celebrations we hold dear. Given that I am also planning a pilgrimage to Italy later in the year,one that walks in the steps of mystics now known as saints, I also thought about what causes a person to become known as a saint. For St. David, it was not anything most of us would aspire to. He lived mostly on bread and water and his monks were known to have refused the use of horses to plow the land choosing instead to do the hard work of animals using their own muscles……all this on the fuel of a pauper’s diet. He became a saint because, it is said, that while speaking to a group of pilgrims a dove alighted on his shoulder and as he spoke the ground where he was standing rose up to create a hill. Anyone who has traveled in this area knows that hills are not in short supply! Why the creation of another one is a means to sainthood is puzzling.

But it is the words that were supposedly spoken on his deathbed that capture my imagination. “Do ye the little things in life.”, he is said to have offered his followers in his last moments. There is great comfort for me in those words. So much of the advice we are given in our lives have to do with how to become ‘great’, whatever that means. Particularly in our country I think we are often pushed, and even push the idea onto our children, of taking the steps that will catapult us not to just the top of a hill but to the pinnacle of a mountain. For St. David his dying message was to pay attention to the ‘little things in life’.

And so today, in his honor, I plan to do just that. I will try to take the small, ordinary steps of paying attention to the little things that make up my day. The few tasks before me. The laundry that needs folded. The dishes that must be washed. I will use the muscles of my own body, my own God-image body, to do the small work of the day. I will eat simply and with gratitude for such humble yet delicious tastes of vegetables like the leek. I will search out the color and beauty of Creation like the daffodil…… that harbinger of spring for which we all are so desperately longing.

In honor of St. David, I will do all these things and I will also allow a song to fill my heart. Who knows? I might even let that song slip out into the frigid day to float on the icy wind. Today I will nurture the ‘little things’. It will not lead to sainthood. But I have a hunch it might lead to a mighty fine day.