“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 and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart; to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurrying never. In a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common. This is to be my symphony.”
“Only in the falling apart of your own foundation can you experience God as your total foundation and your real foundation.”
“Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.”

There is religion in everything around us
A calm and holy religion
In the unbreathing things in Nature
It is a meek and blessed influence
Stealing in as it were unaware upon the heart
It comes quickly, and without excitement,
It has no terror, no gloom.
It does not rouse up the passions,
It is untrammeled by creeds
It is written on the arched sky,
It kooks out from every star,
It is on the sailing cloud, and in the invisible wind
It is among the hills and valleys of the earth
Where the shrubless mountain-top pierces the thin atmosphere
of eternal winter
Or where the mighty forest fluctuates before the strong wind
With its dark waves of green foliage.
It is spread out like a legible language upon
the broad face of an unsleeping ocean.
It is the poetry of nature
It is that which uplifts the spirit within us
And which opens to our imagination a world of spiritual beauty and holiness.
~John Ruskin
Photo by Justin Kern
“The Sun by Mary Oliver Have you ever seen anything in your life more wonderful than the way the sun, every evening, relaxed and easy, floats toward the horizon and into the clouds or the hills, or the rumpled sea, and is gone— and how it slides again out of the blackness, every morning, on the other side of the world, like a red flower streaming upward on its heavenly oils, say, on a morning in early summer, at its perfect imperial distance— and have you ever felt for anything such wild love— do you think there is anywhere, in any language, a word billowing enough for the pleasure that fills you, as the sun reaches out, as it warms you as you stand there, empty-handed— or have you too turned from this world— or have you too gone crazy for power, for things?”
“Camas Lilies by Lynn Ungar Consider the lilies of the field, the blue banks of camas opening into acres of sky along the road. Would the longing to lie down and be washed by that beauty abate if you knew their usefulness, how the native ground their bulbs for flour, how the settlers’ hogs uprooted them, grunting in gleeful oblivion as the flowers fell? And you—what of your rushed and useful life? Imagine setting it all down— papers, plans, appointments, everything— leaving only a note: “Gone to the fields to be lovely. Be back when I’m through blooming.” Even now, unneeded and uneaten, the camas lilies gaze out above the grass from their tender blue eyes. Even in sleep your life will shine. Make no mistake. Of course your work will always matter. Yet Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”

Evening Prayer
“Our souls are not hungry for fame, comfort, wealth, or power. Those rewards create almost as many problems as they solve. Our souls are hungry for meaning, for the sense that we have figured out how to live so that our lives matter so the world will be at least be a little bit different for our having passed through it.”
“Prayer is the experience of knowing that God is the source of everything we claim as our own.”