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Rosing Up: Moving Mindfulness and Gratitude To Holy Ground

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

W. B. Yeats

Let’s get right to it – we are taking this rose thing to the next level (if that confuses you, I invite you to read the previous blog. AND all you people who are worried that we are never going to address the real issues in life, the thorns, rest assured, it’s coming).


Please allow me to formally introduce you to a guy (sadly, no longer living in the biological sense) who is helping me better see and deeply appreciate the roses in life. Brian Doyle. Brian writes what some call "proems" - or prayerful poetry about stuff and people we might encounter everyday, but rarely register the miracle of what is happening right in front of our eyes. For example, this proem for cashiers and checkout-counter folks. My husband recommends that you read slowly, set your intention to savor...

“Prayer for Cashiers and Checkout-Counter Folks”

 Who endure the cold swirls of winter from the sliding doors that are opening and closing every forty seconds; and who endure pomposity and buffoonery and minor madness in their customers; and who gently help the shuffling old lady in the ancient camel coat count out the right change for her loaf of bread and single sad can of cat food; and cheerfully also disburse stamps and cash along with bagging the groceries and even occasionally carting them out swiftly for the customers they know are frail and wobbly; and who must sometimes silently want to scream and shriek in weariness and wondering how it is that they are here for eight hours at a stretch; and who do their jobs with patience and diligence, knowing the price of every single blessed thing in the store; and who ask after children and the ill among the families of their customers with honest interest and concern; and who gently refuse to sell beer to teenagers but do not make a big deal out of it and ring the manager; and who seem to me generally paragons of grace in situations where it would be so easy to grow sad and exhausted and bored; so we ask Your blessing upon them, in their millions around the world; and we ask that you choose a moment at your discretion, and reach for all of them at once in Your unimaginable way, and jazz them with hope and laughter, and give them a dollop of Your starlight, so that they will, for an instant, feel a surge of joy, for reasons they do not know; but we do. And so: amen. (A Book of Uncommon Prayer: 100 Celebrations of The Miracle & Muddle of the Ordinary).


Yes, Doyle is an astute, even reverential, noticer and conveyer of what he sees. (And I trust that Brian has special reasons for offering a single sentence that runs 19 lines long.) But he is doing something else. He turns the whole experience into a prayer of thanksgiving, and then asks for blessings on these particular folks…AND follow up by zooming out to ALL like them. He supercharges the encounter with the rose for me. Feels like I'm approaching holy ground - the cells tingle with a touch of awe just from reading the words he has written.

What would it be like to personally engage life with a little touch of Doyle? Really "rose up"? Try a beginner's experiment? Spoiler alert. It made me cry with joy.  Took me to a whole deeper level of experiencing roses.


The experiment started with noticing a rose - receiving a rose, a complimentary email from a reader, Glen. Glen tells me he has also forwarded the blog to others - shares what he wrote to them. Here are snippets (I have his permission to share):


Greetings Dr. June, 

 I want to let you know that I sent the following notice to our First Church UM discussion group with a link to your latest article. It was great… I had to pass it along! Thank you for your gifts of goodness…. 


One of my long-time practices is morning readings. My latest source is a local one. Dr. June Darling’s blog, Journey to the Good has been arriving for a few weeks now and I already look forward to her weekly posts. 


If you’d like a warm rush of feel-good bliss, click the link below and read June’s latest post….


Oh yes, that was a sweet-smelling rose. My first attempt at Doylizing it (for myself) went like this:


 “Prayer for Brokers of Good and Builders of Bridges” Who reach out to little-known bloggers and pump them up with words like “rush of feel-good bliss,” share resources with others on the journey to the good, and keep scouring the world for tidbits of healing; it would be so easy to take a nap; let others do the work. And so blessings on this broker and builder and the millions like him around the world. I ask that you choose a moment to shower every single one of them in Your Creative Way with bucketsful of strength and joy. And so. Amen.


I didn’t write down my other Doylized roses, but I did share a couple verbally with John.  As I mentioned…the tears, choking up.  Experiencing my body oozing with love, joy, gratitude. Holy ground.


AND…yes, this feels good. It boosts my spirit - my feeling of deep appreciation and connection to the good in others and in the world,'s the biggie... it also allows me to approach the thorn (the adversity, the "bad" thing or person) differently...walk right up to it...with more calm, more courage, and more curiosity. Examine it. Possibly even appreciate it, maybe even to the point that the whole thing gets blurry around the nature of thorns.  More on that and ideas from a few readers coming up. 


Until then I’m told there are at least 30,000 varieties of roses and more coming all the time…


How might we journey together to The Good Life by zooming in and out – seeing more fully, touching, smelling, experiencing, appreciating, blessing a universe crammed with roses, standing on holy ground?

And from one of the most impactful roses in my life (as well as many others' lives), Gene Sharratt. Gene uses a different metaphor for goodness - "light." Because of him I looked at Amanda Gorman's inaugural poem, Climbing the Hill, again. Here are few excerpts that remind us to look for the light...imagine the victorious consequences over catastrophe, and then...dare to go even a step further. Be the light.

When day comes we ask ourselves,

where can we find light in this never-ending shade?


If we're to live up to our own time,

then victory won't lie in the blade.

But in all the bridges we've made,

that is the promise to glade,

the hill we climb.


This is the era of just redemption

we feared at its inception.

We did not feel prepared to be the heirs

of such a terrifying hour

but within it we found the power

to author a new chapter.

To offer hope and laughter to ourselves.

So while once we asked,

how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?

Now we assert,

How could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?


When day comes we step out of the shade,

aflame and unafraid,

the new dawn blooms as we free it.

For there is always light,

if only we're brave enough to see it.

If only we're brave enough to be it.

 (and if all that sounds like too much for us today, maybe we simply start by reading Doyle's poem again with a cup of tea and enjoy a hot holy shower)









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