What they undertook to do
They brought to pass;
All things hang like a drop of dew
Upon a blade of grass.
W. B. Yeats
It may be difficult to find hope in the swirl of contemporary events; yet, the rhythms of the seasons and day and night continue. Here, in northern California, dew magically arrives overnight. Although tiny and almost imperceptible, dew carries countless messages of hope.
Dew feels like the voice of divine grace. These ephemeral watery beads are living expressions of the temporariness of each moment, each life. Almost indiscernibly they appear and then disappear. Their fullness glistens in the early morning light, allowing us a glimpse of impermanence as a precious gift to be treasured with each breath, step, and gesture.
The glimmering allows a momentary portal for noticing how the presence of dew quickens withered leaves. Hardened soil softens. Without bruising or harming, dew gently – and freely – offers moistness to all. The gracious softness blossoms into countless gifts of beauty and nourishment for other beings. Each translucent drop offers the promise of abundance, regeneration, and transformation.
In his praise to teachers, the poet Yeats offers a nod toward the magnanimity of dew. In these times, I feel drawn to more intimacy with wordless messages of the divine that are written into the everyday landscape. Dew, sunrise, sunset, mountains, rivers, oceans, insects, birds, and other sacred manifestations model ways to live and be. I feel these living beings are timeless teachers inviting humans to be in relationship with oneself, one another, and all life.
Dew has endless lessons, such as the power of interconnectivity, transience, lightness, and equality. It also invites a connection with moisture, and during these times, the dew of the eyes. And, when spelled in reverse, dew is wed, offering inspiration for life to be loving marriage between heaven and earth.
This practice supports awareness of sadness and dewy eyes.
- Find a location free of interruptions for about ten minutes. Allow yourself to settle into a relaxed position – e.g., seated on a chair or on the floor, resting on your back.
- Allow yourself to tune into the support of the earth beneath you. Then, invite your body to relax into the supportive awareness that the earth supports all life forms.
- Gently place your hands over your face with your fingertips lightly resting on your eyelids. Invite your senses to take a mini vacation – your eyes can soften and look inward; the back of our tongue can relax with no need to speak for the next several minutes; and, your skin can just sense the quiet support of the earth.
- After a few breaths, remove your hands from your face and allow them to rest over your heart center in any way that is comfortable. Invite some easefulness into your breath.
- Allow the weight of your hands to be like the dew, lightly resting on your chest.
- Allow yourself to notice your general state of your emotional being. No judgement, just feeling and noticing. Your senses and body are relaxed.
- Please note: If you discover that you are feeling extra vulnerable, anxious or uncomfortable, I recommend you skip this and the remaining part of this practice. Instead, I recommend you return your awareness to the support of the earth beneath you, and the light touch of your hands on your chest, allowing yourself to notice the gentle movement of the breath.
- With your hands placed wherever they are comfortable, scan back through your body, senses and breath while inviting ease throughout. Breathe there for several breaths.
- Then, slowly, slowly invite a connection to the feeling of sadness. Just noticing the qualities of sadness, where you feel it in your body, senses, or breath – noticing without judgment, allowing yourself to sincerely explore this emotion. Perhaps allow for moisture – a dewiness – to form in your eyes. Stay here for a few breaths – inhaling in, exhaling out.
- To aid your connection to sadness, you may wish to recall what gives rise to this universal emotion: for world events, those who don’t have enough food, water, or shelter, personal loss or losses, or general sorrow.
- Transition your hands to your belly, allowing them to lightly rest there. Breathe in. Breath out. On your inhalation, invite in understanding and compassion. On your exhalation, invite understanding and compassion to lightly settle in every cell in your body – like dew on the grass. Breathe here for a few breaths.
Transition Back into Your Day—
- Stretch out. Imagine as you stretch that you are stretching understanding and compassion outward to the earth, the sky, and all beings.
- Relax from your stretch. Imagine as you relax, the dew of understanding and compassion has settled everywhere.
- Reach your hands to the opposite shoulders and give yourself a hug. Smile. Imagine you are both whispering and hearing the words, “Thank you. I love you.”
- Pause. When you are ready, return to your day.
This poem appears in Mala of the Heart: 108 Sacred Poems, page 28, edited by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt and published by New World Library. Photo by Josuha Hoehne. HEARTH is posted each new and full moon. KateVogt©2022.
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