“The Glory of God is the human person fully alive.” ~ St. Irenaeus of Lyons
What brings you to life? For me, it’s a pretty short list:
- Spending time with my family and my dog outdoors.
- Jazz music (mostly Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, and Miles Davis)
- A good cup of hot tea (usually, Earl Grey or Irish Breakfast)
- The poetry of Mary Oliver or Billy Collins
It’s one of those questions that those of us who spend our time taking care of others can so easily neglect. But tending to the care of our souls is an essential aspect of what distinguishes humans from every other species. We need times in which we become mindful of the inner realities of life and attend to the needs that arise there. Mary Oliver is a poet who has done much to remind me of this need. In her poem, Instructions for Living a Life, she zeroes in on one of the practices that has become essential for me to remind myself of what’s important. She writes,
Instructions for living a life:
Tell about it.
So I ask again: What makes you come to life when you’re beginning to unravel? Identify the things that bring you not only solace but which excite you and cause you to be delightfully astonished. And then share those things with others.
This week, as you care for those around you, may you take some time to take care of yourself and tend your own soul. Amen.