Image by Polish artist Magdalena Korzeniewska, used with her kind permission

Today is my Aunt Janet's birthday. And it's my friend Peter's birthday. And my friend Margaret's birthday. And I got a note from someone today about blessing things simply because they exist.

What a powerful idea. And I got to thinking - what would it mean to bless ourselves, or to bless each other, simply because we exist? I can bless the world. I can bless others. But to be extravagantly blessed and praised by others - whew. That is something I am still learning how to receive, and do.

And so as I reflected on these dear people and the anniversary of their births, and as I saw my pets, gathered around my desk, this poem came, a blessing.


Can we bless a thing simply

because it exists – because

the cat is a black and brown

tabby and the old dog is an old

dog and the oak tree is an oak

tree that sheds her leaves each

fall? Can we bless ourselves

simply because we exist – because

our hair is soft and our eyes

get tired and our arms hug tightly.

And can we bless ourselves

because we have a skeleton of bones

that above all needs a long,

cool drink of tenderness to remain

upright and standing in this world.

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