Sunday, December 5, 2010

Kindness Miracle

We sat in meditation on that quiet, cold, night. The warm, dimly-lit living room cuddled us. The kitchen's refrigerator shut itself off just as the start-of-meditation bell ebbed into the void.

So near silence—I could hear everyone breathing.

We provided each other shelter.

Sue shared this poem by Mary Oliver:

In the Storm

Some black ducks
were shrugged up
on the shore.
It was snowing

hard, from the east,
and the sea
was in disorder.
Then some sanderlings,

five inches long
with beaks like wire,
flew in,
snowflakes on their backs,

and settled
in a row
behind the ducks --
whose backs were also

covered with snow --
so close
they were all but touching,
they were all but under

the roof of the duck's tails,
so the wind, pretty much,
blew over them.
They stayed that way, motionless,

for maybe an hour,
then the sanderlings,
each a handful of feathers,
shifted, and were blown away

out over the water
which was still raging.
But, somehow,
they came back

and again the ducks,
like a feathered hedge,
let them
crouch there, and live.

If someone you didn't know
told you this,
as I am telling you this,
would you believe it?

Belief isn't always easy.
But this much I have learned --
if not enough else --
to live with my eyes open.

I know what everyone wants
is a miracle.
This wasn't a miracle.
Unless, of course, kindness --

as now and again
some rare person has suggested --
is a miracle.
As surely it is.

~ Mary Oliver ~


steven said...

sweet goodness!!! what a full hovering moment of revelation inside that writing dan!! wow! steven

Dan Gurney said...

Thank you, steven. you share a lot of goodness yourself in a way that inspires me to do the same.

Bonnie said...

May we shower everyone we meet with miracles - a la mode de Mary Oliver and Dan Gurney!

George said...

Kindness is a miracle, indeed, and we are sorely in need of more such miracles everyday, especially among our own species. Thanks for sharing this poem.

Dan Gurney said...

Thank you, Bonnie! Kindness, loving kindness, is a miracle as much for those who cultivate it and share it with others as it is for those with whom it is shared. So may we indeed benefit ourselves and others by finding ways to bring it into our world here and now.

Dan Gurney said...

Hi, George. You are welcome! Thank you for commenting. I feel like I'm simply passing along a sweet goodness that Sue shared with me last Tuesday night. Mary Oliver got the ball rolling to begin with on a windy shoreline walk taken with a mindful heart and the intention to see the miracles around her.

I agree with you that we are in need of kindness, especially our own species. May we cultivate kindness and caring.

Ruth said...

MO manages to wring out kindness from ducks, and all natural beauties, doesn't she?

Paul C said...

What a wonderful lesson from careful observation. Amidst survival of the fittest we, too, can show some thought and caring.

alfred said...
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Dan Gurney said...

Hi, Ruth. I think the kindness MO finds in the natural world is actually there for anyone who develops the eyes, ears, and heart to find it. Love is what the universe swims in.

Ruth said...

It's funny, reading my comment now, it sounds as if I don't feel the way she does, and that I am saying it incredulously!! It could even be read as if I had a snicker! When what I really meant is, she is astonishing at expressing what I also feel! Yes, it's all around, always.


Dan Gurney said...

Ruth, I don't know anyone who disses (is that a word?) Mary Oliver. She's about as fabulous as they come these days. Knowing you like Rumi as much as (maybe even more than) I, I knew not to read snickers or incredulousness into your comment. She is astonishing because she seems to see so much of the love and kindness this world contains.