In my post on a Suffolk walk, I mentioned my ingratitude for not fully appreciating the gift of a beautiful morning. In many ways we find ourselves in a time where the certainties of established religions have less of a hold on us and yet so many still perceive (almost like a fragrance that we can't name) a call to the spiritual that we can't ignore. That call provides us with a moral compass of sorts, but also has a bias towards beauty and truth. Mary Oliver's sublime poem "Wild Geese" expresses some of what I mean. The poem is from Mary Oliver's book Dream Work published by Atlantic Monthly Press.
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
Some things we see or hear resonate with us, and we recognise their value and importance. For me, one such truth is the importance of appreciation, and recognising the superfluity of the wealth we have.
This concept is beautifully and simply expressed by Brother David Steidl Rast in the video below, I thoroughly recommend it. The video starts with the words
You think this is just another day in your life. It's not just another day, it's the one day that is given you today.
Just remembering and living the truth of that would in itself be a remarkable achievement.