i happened to be standing

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“There are a hundred ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” ~ rumi

“I don’t know where prayers go,
or what they do.
Do cats pray, while they sleep
half-asleep in the sun?
Does the opossum pray as it
crosses the street?
The sunflowers? The old black oak
growing older every year?
I know I can walk through the world,
along the shore or under the trees,
with my mind filled with things
of little importance, in full
self-attendance. A condition I can’t really
call being alive
Is a prayer a gift, or a petition,
or does it matter?
The sunflowers blaze, maybe that’s their way.
Maybe the cats are sound asleep. Maybe not.

While I was thinking this I happened to be standing
just outside my door, with my notebook open,
which is the way I begin every morning.
Then a wren in the privet began to sing.
He was positively drenched in enthusiasm,
I don’t know why. And yet, why not.
I wouldn’t persuade you from whatever you believe
or whatever you don’t. That’s your business.
But I thought, of the wren’s singing, what could this be
if it isn’t a prayer?
So I just listened, my pen in the air.”

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4 thoughts on “i happened to be standing

  1. the first time i ever read, listened to this, i was with her listening to the wren’s song:-) powerful words and a reminder of the absence of mind we experience in “self attendance.”
    “Is a prayer a gift, or a petition,
    or does it matter?”
    i loved that.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. her words caused vibrations within me that echoed for a good while. and each new reading brings about the same all over again:-) 🐢
    (that is me. i am turtle woman:-)

    Liked by 1 person

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