Appreciate gaze. That’s the phrase that settled in my mind’s eye this week. Late August and the cultivated butterfly bushes, cone flowers, daisies, and their wildflower companions are browning, returning to seed. I welcome the cool breezes that have broken through the dense heat waves of August this week, but I am not ready for the season’s change. I want to cling to the lift that summer’s colors cast on my day, the ritual of stopping to admire my neighbors’ gardens on our evening walks, standing with amazement at the nature’s display.
Somewhere along my writing way I copied a prayer in my journey notes without acknowledging the author. “Bless God bless; the whole world bless; quietly through the night; gently through the day; each and every creature you meet along the way. Bless God bless.” Just saying the words expands my delight.
Ronald Rohlheiser in Sacred Fire writes that we cannot give ourselves the blessings we need, but we can bless others and our heart will experience the exuberance that makes us say “God, it feels good to be alive.” This is what I learn from the summer’s profusion of color – to bless is to take delight in; to cast an appreciative gaze.
Mid-June when the stress of a move began to dissipate, I entered into the summer’s landscape with the intention of attending to the details I often miss because I am blinded by busyness. I discover a wealth of blessings when I delight in profusion of purples or stars forming constellation in the center of a flowering stalk. Nature instructs me and though I’m not a wildflower or garden perennial, I know what it feels like to be blessed with an appreciative glance. When another sees me, acknowledges my presence, I grow into a fuller sense of my place in the world – just as I am. How can I make a return for this goodness – I too can bless those who come my way with an appreciative gaze.