The first time I wrote this, Come 2007,* was when I was living in Teton Valley, Wyoming.
Monday was the first day of 2007, and what a day it was! Alone in my tiny lodgepole pine cabin, six thousand feet above sea level, I beheld clear blue skies, pure white snow, and a gauzy languid mist – water in its most mysterious incarnation – swirling around the magnificent Tetons. Later, sweet magical twilight, a study in stillness and nature’s infinite pastel palette on snow, sky and land.
“Blessed am I,” I said, startled to hear myself utter the never-before-used phrase.
Inspired by weather and physical geography throughout the day, the following surfaced in me. I tweak and prune a little each year, and I suppose after seven years it’s become my annual bonsai poem.
Love yourself first,
nurture a healthy spirit
so that you have more love to give others.
For kindness given and received
creates a more joyous existence for all.
Forgive, forgive, and forgive.
For no matter how enlightened,
life will always offer pain and suffering.
Your response to this offering
shapes your life experiences.
Never again be complacent about death,
killing, violence, war.
For every life taken is a life extinguished
from our common humanity.
Remember that money serves as energy,
and flows best when all are fulfilled.
Experience beauty as a blessing,
a universal gift to share and enjoy,
never taken for granted.
Always speak the truth,
so that its light shines out of you
and around you.
Know, once and for all,
that each of our gods point us
to the same perfect place and time,
and it is only we, in our puny humanness, who err,
spreading misery in the pursuit of our exclusive beliefs.
Be all that you can be,
in mind, body and spirit.
Surround yourself with people who help
rather than hinder this process.
Be loyal to universal values,
like kindness, wisdom, compassion, humility …
Even if doing so projects an illusion of fear.
within and without,
so that we experience life without boundaries
among peoples and nations and nature.
Understand that you are the architect of your life,
so build well and strong,
true to plumb.
Know there is nothing you can do about the past,
but that the present forks to infinite possibilities.
that by giving life to your children,
you are their first gods.
Be godlike, then,
* Inspired by the content and structure of Arundhati Roy’s poem Come September in the aftermath of 9/11.