“Once in awhile, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale.”
The heart is truly an amazing thing. The recently passed jazz icon Dave Brubeck once said, “One of the reasons I believe in jazz is that the oneness of man can come through the rhythm of your heart. It’s the same anyplace in the world, that heartbeat. It’s the first thing you hear when you’re born — or before you’re born — and it’s the last thing you hear.” Indeed at 91, he died, poetically, of heart failure. The first rhythm we hear is our mother’s heart drumming into our forming consciousness and the last, our own thumping its final notes of Taps before we take leave.
I remember watching that first little blip flicker on the screen when my babies were 6 weeks old in my womb. That flicker later becoming an audible gallop under the wand and jelly being traced across my swelling belly. Finally, it was a throb I could feel under my palm as I rubbed lavender lotion on their rosy, post-bath skin. Their heartbeats like a poem from the very start, a declaration, YES! to this life.
I am in awe at how the heart can weather so many insults and injuries and yet continue to expand. I have felt that tightening in my chest, that stony ache, and struggle to breathe when my heart has been broken. I have my own collection of bitterly painful childhood lacerations, have endured the loss of babies whose faces and souls I never was allowed to behold, and have experienced my share of disappointments in love. My heart has felt weary and raw and yet, at the sight of the sun melting in the sky, or buckets of brown-paper wrapped tulip bouquets at the grocery store, or at the touch of sweetly soft lips grazing my cheek, it blossoms once more. Each time it thrives, I believe it becomes more magnificent and spacious and capable of loving more, and with hope, able to love all.
Rilke wrote, “Our hearts transcend us.”
Yes please to that.
I love how instagram is like having my very own visual gratitude journal! Try it! You just have to look through your snaps to see how many details (hikes, and hats, and Pinkberry trips!) you were moved to capture and savor to see how happy you are to be alive and how much abundance you have to be grateful for. ♥
“In all the world, there is no heart for me like yours. In all the world, there is no love for you like mine.” – Maya Angelou
When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” — John Lennon
You are young. So you know everything. You leap
into the boat and begin rowing. But listen to me.
Without fanfare, without embarrassment, without
any doubt, I talk directly to your soul. Listen to me.
Lift the oars from the water, let your arms rest, and
your heart, and heart’s little intelligence, and listen to
me. There is life without love. It is not worth a bent
penny, or a scuffed shoe. It is not worth the body of a
dead dog nine days unburied. When you hear, a mile
away and still out of sight, the churn of the water
as it begins to swirl and roil, fretting around thes
harp rocks – when you hear that unmistakable
pounding – when you feel the mist on your mouth
and sense ahead the embattlement, the long falls
plunging and steaming – then row, row for your life
~ Mary Oliver