Wendy Brown-Baez - words to light our way
How I say thanks
 
I say thanks with my hands folded over my broken and whole holy heart.
 
I say thanks by sitting still and by singing and I once said thank you by dancing. Now I only weave back and forth but still my body is saying thank you.
 
And I made it through the fire and I made it through the flood so I am saying thank you.
 
I say thanks when I hold the baby and when I change his diaper. When we play or cuddle up to read a story.
 
I say thank you with writing a poem, reading a poem, with an abundance of poems that arrive in my email, with the rhythm of poems following me through the day. I say thank you with email communication and phone calls and hand written cards, keeping in touch persistently.
 
I say thanks with long deep breaths and long deep sighs and every night I lay down to sleep saying thank you for the comfortable bed and warm blanket and that I can sleep without fear. Flushing the toilet I say thank you, and stepping into the shower.
 
I say thanks by remembering those who do not have. With the check in the offering basket and a prayer in the prayer box I say thanks.
 
And with the offering of my help and with my listening I am saying thanks. And with my hands in the dishwater I am saying thanks.
 
I say thanks by blooming every chance I get.

—© Wendy Brown-Báez        



Gratitude
 
I want to remember that I was hungry so that I never forget to say thank you over a meal, an orange, a sliced cucumber, just picked strawberries from the garden, a gift of Christmas cookies.
 
I want to remember that I was confused and lost and yet I found my way. I learned to ask for help. I learned that I am not alone. Let me never forget that where I belong is exactly where I am.
 
I want to remember that I was cold so I will bless the sun, the heat, the hot water, hot pad, blankets on a bed, a shawl around my shoulder.
 
I want to remember that I was exhausted and let my body stretch and release into shavasana while my breath rose and fell in a rhythm of contentment.
 
I want to remember that the grief threatened to carry me over the edge. I could not unfold my wings scorched from the burning of my child’s body into ash. The edge between madness and the ability to carry on, the dance between oblivion and love, feeling that one more day in such pain was impossible. And yet I walked step by step and took one more breath while my wings were repaired by the loving hands of friends and angels and my own determined self.
 
I want to remember that I was terrified and did it anyway. That I was angry and choose words instead of a fist. That I was betrayed and learned forgiveness. That I was a stranger and found home wherever I could light a candle, say a prayer, learn a name.
 
I want to remember that I stood in darkness in order to adore the light, I stood in silence in order to find my voice.
 
I want to remember my tears and the way they brought me salt.

—© Wendy Brown-Báez     
published in We'Moon datebook 2016


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