Heaven and earth are only three feet apart,
but in the thin places that distance is even smaller.
A thin place is where the veil that separates heaven and earth is lifted
and one is able to receive a glimpse of the glory of God.
An open heart is alive to wonder, to the sheer marvel of “isness.”
It is remarkable that the world is,
that we are here,
that we can experience it.
The world is not ordinary.
Indeed, what is remarkable is that
it could ever look ordinary to us.
An open heart knows “radical amazement.”
An open heart and gratitude go together.
We can feel this in our bodies.
In the moments in my life
when I have been most grateful,
I have felt a swelling,
almost a bursting in my chest.
~Marcus Borg from The Heart of Christianity
The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.
~T.S. Eliot from “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”
When I was young, fog felt oppressive, as mournful as the fog horns sounding continually in the nearby bay.
Now in late middle age, I appreciate fog for slowing me down when life compels me to rush too fast.
When forced to take time, I begin to notice what I missed before:
clouds descend to hug and kiss the ground to bejewel everything they touch.
Today the dead and dying became glorious in subtle beauty,
the farm became all gossamer garland and transparent pearls…
There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on,
and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings, as now in October.
The sunshine is peculiarly genial;
and in sheltered places, as on the side of a bank, or of a barn or house,
one becomes acquainted and friendly with the sunshine.
It seems to be of a kindly and homely nature.
And the green grass strewn with a few withered leaves looks the more green and beautiful for them.
If I were a month, I would want to be October…
A kindly and homely nature, with comfortable temperatures and a bit foggy,
with flashes of burnt umber, misty gold in the relinquishing light.
~Mary Oliver from “Rain”