There is a poem by Pat Schneider, The Patience of Ordinary Things, that has become part of my daily prayer. It is a reflection on the many little things that serve us each day—things we take for granted because they are so ordinary. The poem begins, “It is a kind of love is it not? How the cup holds the tea,…” and I think: Yes, it is! Poetry, like scripture, can be both read and prayed. This happens to be a poem that I pray. So now, as I behold the cup loving me and serving me by holding my tea or coffee each morning, I start thinking: What else am I missing? What are the little things that serve me each day?
I have begun to practice noticing the little things that serve me and yes…
“It is a kind of love...
- how the candle holds the wick and the wick holds the flame
- how the tree holds the branches and the branch holds the leaf
- how the earth receives the roots and the sky holds the stars
- how the book holds the stories and the pages hold the words
- how the plate holds the food and the table holds the plate
- how the walls enthrone the pictures and the pictures, the images
- how the face holds the freckles and the smiles and frowns
- how the computer keys lovingly support the fingers
- how the shoe supports the foot and the finger holds the ring
- how the earth's turning, offer us hours of light and darkness.
I could go on forever but my heart is calling me to fill the kettle with water, turn on the heat so that the molecules can began the fast dance of love to make the water hot so that the loving cup can hold the tea as I sit before the blank page of my morning work and practice patience. But before I began I sing praises to all the little things that bless me unaware each day. A quote from Coleridge winds its way through my mind: "A stream of love crept through my heart and I blessed them unaware."
Well, it was something like that. Today I would like to serve others in little ways by blessing them in secret.