And have you been ten times dazzled yet today?

Posted by on Oct 24, 2014 in Blog, Mindfulness Training, Personal Coaching, Spiritual Shifts | 0 comments

And have you been ten times dazzled yet today?

Greetings, dear ones.

Check it out– a blog post mere days after the last.  Hurrah!

My daily walks are typically in the morning, but yesterday, in the afternoon–still very much the sweaty part of the day in Tucson’s October– I felt the sudden need to go outside and walk slowly around the neighborhood. I just needed to stop what I was doing that very moment (feeling full of gratitude that I often have the freedom to do so) and get myself out into the air.  Something was supposed to be seen, to be found. I just felt it– that knowing, coursing through me. Though what I knew I did not yet know.

It was not long before I was able to tune into that splendid birdsong I’ve memorized– that whistle that I know so well, but don’t hear nearly enough around here. I knew who it was. It was the one who wears the red crown, the black mask. The king whistler. I spun slowly around and then around again, my eyes taking in as much of the nearest mesquite tree and its branches as possible, aching for a glimpse of the spectacular bird that wears the scarlet robe. I knew he was there somewhere. Finally, I spotted him looking down at me, cocking his head, somewhat amused by this slow-motion dervish.

“There you are”, I said. “I’ve been looking for you”.

We shared a few nods. We conversed a bit in flutters– his feathers, my heart.  My eyes couldn’t stop gulping up that color. My god, that color. I could die of love.  I might have.  I might have born anew, here now to tell you.

I cannot whistle (except shrillingly through a blade of grass, or now and again, accidentally, at embarrassingly inappropriate times, through a space in my bottom two front teeth) but I blew air forth with great fervor until he shook his head and flurried off to find the next tree that would get to be the stage at his next concert. And then I wept heartily. I always cry when I get a moment like this to commune with creatures in this way (and those moments are frequent, so I am so often in tears, it seems). It’s just nearly too much beauty to take.  And we need to find beauty so very much right now. We need to remember how much gorgeousness there is in this world, despite news to the contrary. As the magnificent Mary Oliver wrote in her new poem “Good Morning” from her most recent and just released collection, Blue Horses:

“It must be a great disappointment to God if we are not dazzled at least ten times a day.”

I agree, wholeheartedly with Ms. Oliver, and anyone who knows me well will say I always do.  Find all the loveliness on this planet that you can. It will be there, going about its day whether you bring your heart to it or not.  You may miss it a million times for every one time you catch it. But oh,  how wonderful to be able to admire it! How would that grow you, change you, nourish the stuff of your soul if you sought out that amazement, always? What if that were our greatest intention, every day upon waking? What if we dedicated ourselves wholeheartedly to that practice, above all others? What if we committed ourselves to let the soft heart of the earth touch both the hardest and softest places in our hearts, cracking them open so widely that we could never even whisper of closing them again?

Is this not something to think about; to ponder, earnestly?

I say yes.  A thousand times yes.

Now go. Find your ten dazzlers.


Be well,


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