Gently and Quietly

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The air is soft. The wind is mellow. The sun warms the very bones of this good old earth. The world thaws. The remaining patches of snow is sucked deep into the ground. The day is drenched with the fragrance of fluttering blossoms. The blackbird sings once more.

The gentle Spring is upon us.

In these parts of the world, winter might be long and endless but spring arrives with a promise of perfection that more than makes up for the frozen months now behind us. Dandelions push from the ground. Small and dainty at first, they soon turn plump and confident under the nurturing sun.

Furry buds of May. Tender new leaves unfurl. Dirt. Green grass. Spring makes me hug myself in delight.

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And frogs. A great multitude of slippery, slimy frogs make their first appearance after the winter.

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We found them one day while walking the many trails near our home. Hundreds of them squatting and staring unblinkingly in shallow pools of still dark waters collected in the surface runoff from the dirt track we were walking on.

A gentle croaking murmur rose amidst a froth of clear frogspawn dotted with life.  A soothing mantra.

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Adopting a slow pace of life, the frogs hardly made a ripple. Bobbing just above the surface, they gathered in clusters. We stood and watched in hushed silence this remarkable sight. Others soon came and stood with us. Occasionally, we would all break into mirth watching the mating antics of these silky creatures.

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Time stood still. Each of us locked in the wonder and secrets that Nature had given us a glimpse of at that moment. We all shared in the peacefulness and appreciation of life in all its forms.

I think in moments like these we are healed. All is well. As it always has been.

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And we walked home with a lingering sense of comfort in our hearts.

“Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be critical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings.

Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.”

~ Max Ehrmann 1927, Desiderata SONY DSC

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