Don’t Let All Of This Make You Hard

Sometime during the night Gerry opens the door leading from our bedroom to the deck. Thanks to the cedars he removed a few weeks ago it opens on to an unobstructed view of mountain, valley, and big sky.

This morning, a few clouds add interest. Pinks and blues step lightly around one another as the sun rises and it is glorious.

I think about getting my phone to capture a quick image but choose the better thing instead. To sit and watch and worship. I am hungry for the divine and so very weary of the rest.

Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.

Iain Thomas

I have been pondering the fact—yes, I regret to say it is a fact—that a measure of hardness has settled in me this year.

I need to pay attention to sunrises and hummingbirds and other such magical things; to get lost in the aroma of fresh baked bread and the taste of sweet summer fruit.

I need to push through this propensity to hold my thoughts close out of fear of condemnation. It’s hard when it seems even the simplest things are misconstrued and judged.

I don’t want to argue.

I don’t want to be hard.

When my boundaries are encroached upon my first reaction is to withdraw to a place of safety to regain strength. These days I just want to stay where it’s quiet and I don’t have to justify or explain.

Before we knew that this year would unfold as it has, I planned to go on personal retreat this summer. I grieve the loss of that opportunity and look for pockets of retreat in unsteady days instead.

Books are my companions—as usual. But some days I struggle to read them. My monkey mind swings from branch to branch clutching my attention in its grip.

I need a project. I have too many projects. I just want to sit on the deck. I need a book I can lose myself in or one I can sink my teeth into. I want to learn. I want out. I don’t know.

Another email from the library letting me know I can phone to make arrangements to pick up a book I requested. Books handed out at the library in brown papers bags. Who’da thunk it?

Another trip to the grocery store where we queue to get in, sanitize our hands, and wait for a sanitized basket or cart to be brought to us.

Another conversation where I struggle to hear what the other person is saying behind their mask or plexiglass safety barrier.

Another news story. Another contradiction. Another disagreement.

It’s all just too much.

But in the predawn sky I see the hand of the Creator. Virtuoso. Love.

I don’t want to be hard so I pause here.

And tomorrow. And tomorrow.


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things.
  1. Great reminder. I love the quote and will save it in a desktop folder.

    I remember feeling sad that cedar trees were taken down, but it gives you a wider vista, such a good thing! 🙂

  2. Linda, I struggle with similar feelings. A post in the works includes similar words and statements. And that quote is awesome. Like Marian, I’ll be saving it to read again and again and again. Blessings, sweet friend.

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