"Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor." ~Thich Nhat Hanh
"You know that our breathing is the inhaling and exhaling of air. The organ that serves for this is the lungs that lie round the heart, so that the air passing through them thereby envelops the heart. Thus breathing is a natural way to the heart. And so, having collected your mind within you, lead it into the channel of breathing through which air reaches the heart and, together with this inhaled air, force your mind to descend into the heart and to remain there." ~Nicephorus the Solitary
"I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart: I am, I am, I am." ~Sylvia Plath
Today is a day full of grace because I am breathing still. That is the most I can hold onto today, as after the summer adventures, I'm back in "ordinary time" and I'm not adjusting to it very well. There should be something restorative and peaceful and comforting in this time, but I have a habit of craving chaos and adventure.
However, I am grateful for my life today, as I've had the chance to reflect on the preciousness of life, both because it's the tenth anniversary of 9/11 and also because I received news of two community members' passing. I need to be grateful for and attend to each breath, so I sit here, looking out my window, at the tropical plant with leaves as big as plates, at the brick red porch, at the unused slide and swings that my landlord left when they vacated the place, at the cedar trees, at the gray skies, at the approach of fall, and with fall, we encroach upon advent, and there is hope again. So, right now, I'm living in the hope of hope, if that makes sense. I'm loving the gray day because somehow it gave me permission for a good long afternoon nap, even if I woke up thinking, oh, boy, I've lost two hours of my Sunday! But what hours are lost when I give into the deep breathing of sleep, to the dreams that visit me there.