by Leezá Carlone Steindorf

When your heart aches with the fullness of beauty,
you know you are alive.

When is the last time your breath caught and your heart ached from beauty? Do you remember?

When have you sat at a river at dusk watching the reflection, feeling the wind, seeing the birds dart here and there in the slow and fast rhythm of the current?

When have you watched the sky unfold its tapestry of light and dark, clouds shifting in shape, the blue and purple and gray blending on the canvas, the stars emerging to pierce the expanse?

When have you felt the bark of a tree under your hand with its rough, foreign, undefined texture, and the strength and vulnerability of nature rooted back through the eons coursing through your bones?

When have you had someone hold that same sweet hand of yours and felt the love present, the intimate connection between you as well as the vast unbreakable bond that we beings, human and otherwise, share on our precious planet? 

When have you, in the stillness, pondered the effortless unbidden rise and fall of your chest, savoring the mystery of how you are breathed?

When have you felt the deep grace of this life, of its gifts? Do you welcome the joy and sorrow, the laughter and tears; the complexity, confusion, and pristine clarity; the delight, the disappointments, the miracles?

Can you, in this very moment, receive the indiscriminate beauty and the infinite love of this day, of each other, of you?

Or have you fallen asleep?