4/29/2018

Act

Some pride themselves on being 'activists,' believing that their actions are more significant than what others do. But who can judge the value of an act?
The old Bulgarian cobbler - some say he is one of only seven Tzaddiks left on earth - sews a new sole to a grizzled boot. He is so present, and so deep in merry silence, he doesn't realize that he stitches heaven to earth, allowing us to survive another day.

The pole star seems to rest in stillness all night. Yet it streaks at inconceivable speed through the heavens.

A tiny emerald moth alights on the lupine in a mountain meadow, folding its wings in repose. It's faint pulse sends out a thread of causation that will finally bring a tempest to the other side of the planet.

The child falls and scrapes her knee. The mother who treats her wound, not only with ointment but with immeasurable tenderness, lightens the burden of all who suffer, though we never know quite why we sigh and sense such nameless elevation.

If you take - no, receive - a breath with infinite gratitude - for we are not capable of doing infinite works, but we are capable of being infinitely grateful - this breath may feel like the faintest caress on your breastbone. But can you be sure it isn't a mighty wind from the Creator, sweeping the world, renewing mountains, forests, and rivers, restoring the Spirit to every heart that beats?

In the words of Thich Nhat Hanh, "Drink your tea slowly, as if it is the axis on which the earth revolves."


Painting: 'The Old Village Cobbler," 1903, John Brown, American Realist

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