#7 Joyful Remembrance 2018

Practicing Joy in the World

August 29 – October 7

These are days of poignant awareness: we say farewell to the long sweet summer hours, and awaken to feelings of anticipation, something new on the horizon, usually involved with lessons and teachings. That breath of anticipation, even for those of us long out of the school year’s rigor, carries wonder and possibility, and ambivalence. Here I go again! What will it be like this time? Remembering Joy provides a gentle method of preparation for these days. Here’s the inspiration to go for it, as only Hafiz can demonstrate.

I carry gifts today

From rivers, seas, fields, stars,

And from every soul,

From every soul –

That will ever


Our gifts this month come from remembering joy, cherishing the memories, discerning the gifts of the memories, and then, whenever and however we can, bestowing those gifts.

As Hafiz mentions the rivers and seas of the earth first, let us focus our memories in imitation of the waters of the world: they flow, they wave, they meander, they trickle, they storm, they pour down, they carry, they stand still and mirror the world around.

Poet John Keats envies their steadfastness and honors their cleansing power:

“the moving waters in their priest-like task of pure ablution ‘round earth’s human shores.”

Our memories become vast oceans, bubbling springs, sweeping rivers, quiet lakes.

And they carry gifts of love, laughter, tears, heartache, tenderness, kindness, and compassion. A friend’s face, a lover’s story, a teacher’s words, a child’s ecstasy, a kaleidoscopic montage of life’s essential moments.

And beyond this lifetime, remembering the gifts offered in watery abundance from every soul, every soul, that has ever been or will ever be. And in the remembering, offering gratefulness to every soul, every drop of water, every star.

Remembering that there is Joy in the World. And in me.

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