Three Times Warmed

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” — Rachel Carson

Unsweet iced tea, plain bagel (lightly toasted) with veggie cream cheese (on the side). My “usual” breakfast at the fine dining establishment known as Dunkin Donuts.

I sat outside, taking in the generous AZ sun, planning to go to the lovely Desert Foothills Library in Cave Creek to do some research and toy with some writing ideas. The library’s website said they were open until 4. Upon arrival, I discovered they were closed on this day after Thanksgiving.

So, I went for a walk in the adjacent Caroline Bartol Preserve at Saguara Hill.

Turned out to be so much better than a library visit.

I ascended Saguara Hill, the warmth of the sun pressing on my face, my soul absorbing the beauty of the day and the place.

I found the first sentence of the Rachel Carson quote carved on a bench along the path.

Sitting on the bench, I meditated on those words and felt a second warmth, an inner warmth, as I considered their truth.

The words to a song I learned at UUCE then played over and over in my mind, filling me with a third warmth.

“May I be filled with lovingkindness.
May I be well. (repeat)
May I be peaceful and at ease.
May I be whole.”

In the second verse, “you” is substituted for “I.” In the last verse, “we” is substituted for “you.”

The cynic might regard this sung mantra as naïve, wishful thinking. Like a Miss America contestant hoping for “World Peace.”

I’ve come to think of it quite differently.

It’s about cultivating intention and a disposition. Towards ourselves, loved ones, acquaintances, strangers, and even those we might regard as enemies. All human accomplishment begins as imagination. Your smartphone began as an idea. Your car too. Someone sketched the home you live in long before any materials were gathered together for its actual construction.

The ideas/beliefs we plant in our hearts and minds matter. They are the seeds of what we will “grow” in our lives, the seeds of how we will relate to ourselves and others.

What if we were, in fact, filled with lovingkindness? What if we were, in fact, peaceful and at ease and whole?

We would have kick-ass souls.

Imagine a world full of people with kick-ass souls.

That’s a place I want to live!

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