The Angel that presided o’er my birth
Said ‘Little creature, form’d of joy and mirth,
Go, love without the help of anything on earth.William Blake
Most of the day had been stormy with high winds and heavy rain. I had gone out to feed the birds and pick up the mail in the early morning, but otherwise had stayed inside. It felt like a luxury to be somewhere warm and dry without any necessity to navigate the wet roadways and detours around debris and flooded areas.
Serendipitously, the day was unscheduled with no work or other appointments. I needed to physically be nowhere other than home. I felt an impulse to begin filling up the day with phone calls and conversations online. Yet, I couldn’t let go of the awareness of the gift of shelter and the choice to retreat into that.
At both the deepest and broadest level is the sanctity of the heart, and its abundance of love and joy. Within the heart, everyone and everything belongs. There is room for all life – the sky, mountains, oceans, lands, and the objects and species residing in those regions. Divine love and joy are the essence of the heart.
The rainy day made me reflect upon a more basic form of sanctuary – four walls, roof, and floor, and a consistent place to rest our head and nourish our body. Instead of getting lost in my social media, I chose instead to clean and care for the philodendron, fern, and other houseplants by watering them and trimming the leaves. Albeit small, the apartment felt like a castle filled with the blessings of safety, comfort, love, and wellbeing.
I have done nothing special in this life to be one of the privileged humans to have a shelter. Although I have not asked them, my guess is that like me, most of my family members take for granted the sanctuary of home. I am grateful to the inclement weather to have caused me to slow down and appreciate shelter and the rich blessings in my life.
This practice supports awareness of the body as an earthly home.
- Stretch out. Give yourself a hug.
- Hold your upper right forearm with your left hand. Gently squeeze.
- Hold your mid right forearm with your left hand. Gently squeeze.
- Hold your right wrist with your left hand. Gently Squeeze.
- Hold each finger on your right hand with your left fingers. Gently squeeze.
- Hold your right hand with your left. Gently squeeze.
- Repeat with the opposite arm and hand.
Return to Your Day
Sit quietly for a few moments. When you are ready, return to your day.
Note: In the last line of this poem, scholars are unsure in reading Blake’s handwriting whether it is “live” or “love;” or, “king” or “thing.” In other words, instead of “Go, love without the help of anything on earth,” it is “Go, live without the help of any king on earth.’
This poem is from Mala of the Heart: 108 Sacred Poems, page 11, edited by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt and published by New World Library. Photo by Benjamin Wong on Unsplash.
H E A R T H 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.com. KateVogt©2019.
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