Two poems for the Holiday season

23 Dec

Two Poems for the season…

My Symphony


William Henry Channing

To live content with small means.

To seek elegance rather than luxury,

and refinement rather than fashion.

To be worthy not respectable,

and wealthy not rich.

To study hard, think quietly, talk gently,

act frankly, to listen to stars, birds, babes,

and sages with open heart, to bear all cheerfully,

do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never.

In a word, to let the spiritual,

unbidden and unconscious,

grow up through the common.

This is to be my symphony.



Change me O Divine into one who searches for and sees delight everyday rather than dwelling upon my perceived and often made up troubles, terribleness or thanklessness. All around me are things that can “kill” me with delight and help me to lose myself in wonder. I think of this Spring – am I noticing the buds coming, the growing landscape of increasing green, the new and fresh green of young lives on a tree – a green that shimmers and looks so fresh and new and that only comes each spring? And to just see and feel the grass – the green grass I have been longing to see all winter and here it is sprouting up everywhere becoming lush and thick and I fail to notice? May my prayers be made out of grass – may I see the extraordinary in the ordinary and know it’s all extraordinary – all the wonders, I take for granted that surround me constantly and through which I can see your love pouring forth into the world and into my life. May I instruct myself in joy rather than sorrow. May I simply look, listen and lose myself in wonder, rather than my made up thoughts of misery. May the beauty of the world around me remind me what is true. O Divine, make me mindful as well in order to be well. Mary Oliver


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