Instructions for living a life.
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it. — Mary Oliver

I don’t really know how to tell about this life where a red puppy nuzzles against my hip when she wakes from napping in my mother’s chairs.  Or the way the bleats of tiny goats mimic the delight of young children spinning madly on a merry-go-round in a park on a sunny autumn day.

I’m not sure how to capture my awe and delight that 20 people have trusted a sliver of their word-filled journey to me.  Or the sheer peace that comes when I see how stories fill the world like dogwood leaves – going from green to burgandy and then dancing on the breeze.

Sometimes, for all the time I live with words, they fail.  Completely.

So today, I will tell you what astonishes me, now, on this Thursday at the end of this August.

  • The paisley squares that I have only just now noticed even those this quilt my mom made has hung near me for almost 10 years now.
  • The idea that I can see contrasting colors in particular shapes and not only know those shapes form letters but then words and that those words mean.  And that they mean differently to everyone.
  • The chickens – Fern and Snowman – who come to me when I call, and how I want to call them when – just a small time ago – I feared them.  The softness of their feathers, tender silk on my fingerprints.
  • The way sleep comes and lifts all burdens. The struggle when it eludes.
  • The smile of my friend’s sleeping child.
  • The process by which a tree converts breathlessness to very breath and draws all it needs to do so from earth – no humans necessary.
  • You – sitting somewhere I can not even imagine, reading these words on a screen that glows.
  • You – wanting to read something I have written.
  • You with all your fingertips or aching heart or ankle wrapped in a bright pink cast.  You with the memories of love alluded or scarred, with the cuts of life carved deep into you and yet, you there – just where you are, beautiful, powerful, loved.

What astonishes you today?  Tell me about it.  Write it down. Revel.