Attention Is The Beginning of Devotion

Laurel River Trail, Western N. Carolina

“I got saved by poetry and the beauty of the world.”

Mary Oliver

If asked what my first thoughts are as I awake each morning this is what I say. Gratitude for waking up and feeling the breath fill my body, and in the Spring how much I love the sweet sound of birdsong outside my bedroom window.

After preparing green jasmine tea my writing notebook finds its place on my lap with fountain pen poised as I gaze out at the River Birch outside my bedroom window.

The question posed each and every morning is “where will I place my attention today?”

I am wondering what your thoughts are as you awaken each morning? Where your attention goes and what beauty you find in your day?

As Mary Oliver says “we are bits of energy transforming the world through our embodied lifetimes here.”

Like the image at the top of this post we are a unique stone placed in the embrace of nature set here for a “purpose” that we most often spend our entire lives exploring and being challenged by. Each stage of life seems to offer something uniquely different.

The elder years are not exempt from this on going inquiry.

In fact we may question our place in this world even more as we become “invisible” to many going about their busy lives. Yet this very invisibility may be what brings us to the sweet recognition that we have become more solidly embodied and very selective in where we place our attention.

Life moments feel ever more precious as we come back once again to Oliver’s call to us – “What is it that you want to do with this one wild and precious life?” What is it now at 50, 60, 70, 80 and beyond?

Shifting and changing as we find our way past the challenges and into devotion to the exquisite beauty that surrounds us in every single moment. Not just in the natural world, but in art, music, poetry, dance, relationships, food….and in the single moments that takes our breath away.

Devotion to the life moments we have left to us through the pathway of where we place our attention.

Below you will find On Being Krista Tippets interview with Mary Oliver – “I Got Saved By The Beauty of the World.”
Mary Oliver

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Gaye Abbott, Natural Passages Consulting, 5/20/22. Please feel free to share this post!


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