Walked to Mass this morning with Jan

Bright crisp February morning. Sunbeams through the branches of the evergreens. Cold clean air in my lungs. Golden light on the treetops. Breath hanging in the air. Quiet conversation about the kids and getting ready for Lent. A chance to pray quietly for a half an hour. The Body of Christ on my tongue. Muscles working and blood pumping on the hike home. Jan’s hand in mine.

So much of life has no plot, no conflict. It’s not good *story* material. There’s no antagonist. So talking to others about it seems oddly anti-climactic. And yet, how much of our lives are filled up with these moments of pure goodness and wordless gratitude? We feel a little dumb saying, “Look! Grass is green!” And yet it is. And that’s miraculous!

I suspect that one of the great losses of modernity is the triumph of narrative over poem. Story is, of course, good and necessary. But story requires conflict to work. A poem does not. It meets the need of the soul to simply look, smell, hear, taste and feel. The task of a poet is to remind us that water is wet and rock is hard and life, before it is ever a conflict, is a gift.

What are you grateful for?


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