Dear God, please reveal to us
your sublime
that is everywhere, everywhere, everywhere
so that we will never again
feel frightened.
St. Francis of Assisi


There was a loud siren booming throughout the neighborhood. I was inside putting clothes in the washing machine, but the sound fulfilled its purpose. Like most humans, my mind immediately shifted into high alert and sifted through the possibilities for the alarm. Even though my husband and I live in an area prone to fires and earthquakes, I quickly dismissed either of those. There had been no ground shaking and rain was pouring down outside. The neighborhood dogs began to howl, and then I remembered there was a prescheduled test of our town’s firehouse siren.

While it is an absolute necessity that we alert one another to impending danger – especially with the growth of natural disasters – I wonder what our world would be like if humans had invented “sublime beauty” alerts. Imagine if we had regular sirens for every stunning, natural occurrence. We’d be enveloped in constant awe of everything that sustains us.

Instead, we have used our ingenuity for threat alerts. Not the necessary ones like my neighborhood firehouse alarm, but a stream of promises to soothe every fear – be better looking, more productive, healthier, richer, more balanced, calmer, or happier.   The modern commercial space subtly taps into our woes and wraps us into their brand’s product, app, or service. As a result, our lifestyles and habits rarely bring us in direct touch with nature. Our food is pre-packaged, our outdoor exercise is with equipment, our contemplation is with apps, etc.

Somehow, humanity has allowed itself to become enamored in our cleverness – forgetting that homo sapiens refers to ‘wise human,’ not ‘clever human.’ Other species sing praises to the co-existence of all of life in an abundance of glorious shapes, forms, sounds, and fragrances.   There are upheavals and invasives in other species, but we are unique in our trail of efforts to conquer, outsmart, and ignore the sacredness of all of life.   We need the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi more than ever to bring us back in sync with one another, the planet, the divine, and ourselves.

The daffodil is where I choose to begin the re-righting of my human perspective from a separatist to a holistic view. It is among the first spring blooms and is lauded around the world as a messenger of renewal and abundance. Its trumpet-shaped crown is an uplifting announcement of the unfolding of new energy and hope.   As a warning, its botanical name narcissus is a reminder to be a ‘wise,’ rather than ‘clever,’ human, to tune into the “sublime beauty” messages, and to listen to the wisdom that they have to share.   I hope you will join me.


This practice cultivates loving tenderness in your touch.

  • Prepare –
    • Find a comfortable seated position. If seated on a chair, place the soles of both feet on the floor.
    • Stretch out through your palms and fingers. Then, gently squeeze each finger with the fingers of the opposite hand.
  • Practice –
    • Slowly, lightly and gently stroke the palm and fingers each hand a few times. Stroke with kindness and gentleness as though you are touching the most beautiful thing on earth.
    • Allow your hands to rest in your lap or on your thighs. Fingers relaxed and palms upward. Quietly sit and breathe softly and gently.
      • Imagine as though your breath is caressing you from the inside out. Receive this inner kindness. Savor it.
    • Transition back into your day –
      • Look at your hands. Say ‘thank you’ to them for helping you communicate with the life in the world.
        • Silently vow that as you go about your day, you will be aware of your hands each time they grasp or touch something or someone.
          • For example, as you pick up your fork before you eat, wash your face, fill your car with gas, hug a friend, or feel rain or sunshine on your face.
        • Before you re-enter your day, lightly touch your fingertips to your heart center, symbolically sealing in your vow.

This poem appears in Mala of the Heart: 108 Sacred Poems, page 20, edited by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt and published by New World Library.

HEARTH is posted each new and full moon and written by Kate Vogt. To learn more about Kate Vogt and her “Living Wisdom . . . every day,” please visit  KateVogt©2019.

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