So Many Presents to Open



It is your birthday and there are many presents to open. The world is to be opened.

You are alive.
It needn’t have been so.
It wasn’t so once, and will not be forever.
But it is so now.

And what is it like:
to be alive in this one place of all places anywhere where life is?

Live a day of it and see.
Take any day and LIVE IT.
Nobody claims that it will be entirely painless, but no matter.

It is the first day because it has never been before
and the last day because it will never be again.

~Frederick Buechner from The Alphabet of Grace




Instructions for living a life:
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.
~Mary Oliver from Red Bird




To do the useful thing,
to say the courageous thing,
to contemplate the beautiful thing:
that is enough for one man’s life.

― T.S. Eliot, The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism




During these turbulent times
(and there have been many in my 63 years)
when too many regret living and quit,
when too many are deprived of even taking a first breath,
when too many live life shrouded in pain and sorrow~

I tend to forget each day is a gift to be opened and savored.
Each day a first day, a last day, a birthday of amazing grace.

I myself was never expected to be:
seven years of my parents wanting and not conceiving.
The papers to adopt a baby boy were ready to sign
when my mother began feeling sick in the mornings
and she celebrated her misery.

I think now of that baby boy and wonder whose arms took him in
when I unexpectedly came and filled my parents’.

I am alive, by God,
it needn’t have been so, but is so now.
I don’t want to waste a moment of astonishment
and breathe each breath, amazed.




as a yearling

8 thoughts on “So Many Presents to Open

  1. dare i presume that today is your birthday?? happy birthday, emily, and please keep up the good work of this blog (and ALL the other wonderful things you must do!) i will be 64 on friday myself, and am thankful to be mostly in good health. off to VBS now…the kids keep me young at heart, even if my body can’t.


  2. My wish for you is that you are immeasurably blessed this day, for your birthday and always. That you are always surrounded by beauty and kindness, and that you continue to share both and your heart with the world. My sincerest gratitude for you dear Emily,
    brightest blessings ♥ xx


  3. Is it possible, dear Emily, that your parents had to wait so long in hope and anticipation 63 years ago because the Holy Spirit was busy trying to find just that one extra ‘gift,’ that unique attribute, to add to what would lovingly become Emily Polis?


  4. Happy birthday dear Emily!! You are a blessing indeed. And I just celebrated my 67th on July 19th. So we have our birthmonth in common as well as our love of haflingers, farms and farm boys. Enjoy the rest of your special day!!


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