The Breeze at Dawn

2003 Yearbook AdOur son Jack started reading Rumi’s poetry in high school, so Tim and I placed this “ad” in his graduation yearbook back in 2003. That’s Jack sitting on a blanket holding an orange and looking, I think, very Churchillian.  (He was probably 6 months old and the flower hedge was in fact about 8″ high.)  Clearly a deep thinker, he was either contemplating Rumi-esque ideas or wondering how to fit the orange in his mouth.

In 2007, Rumi was named the most popular poet in America.  He was born in 1207 in Afghanistan and in the intervening 800 years was consistently among the best loved Persian poets.  More recent translations into English that captured the essence of his poetry, where literal translations had failed, brought his popularity stateside.

I love the beginning of this poem:

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you;
Don’t go back to sleep.

Perhaps it’s the shape and texture, color, taste and smell of an orange that the breeze shares with the wakeful child.  Or perhaps it’s the the essence of the orange: its gift-ness — all that goodness (still to be discovered!) plucked for him from the backyard’s dwarf orange tree.

I’ve found that dawn after dawn that breeze gently blows gifts of comfort, strength, peace and joy for each of us to grasp as tangibly as that orange.  And to share with one another as easily as we do an orange, when — awake — we realize that there’s more comfort, strength, peace and joy on each dawn’s breeze.  It’s the nature of the the day.*  And the nature of the child — dawn after dawn.

*”Day.  The irradiance of Life; light, the spiritual idea of Truth and Love… The objects of time and sense disappear in the illumination of spiritual understanding, and Mind measures time according to the good that is unfolded.  This unfolding is God’s day, and “there shall be no night there.”  Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, page 584.

Hurricane Irene was making its way up the East Coast as I wrote this blog about dawn’s breezes.  The prophet Elijah saw that the Lord, God, divine Love and Life, is not in the wind that wailed into the mountain and broke the rock in pieces.  God, Spirit, Soul, was in the quiet calm that was there all along and that Elijah could hear after the raging.  I loved the insights along these lines in a religious article in The Christian Science Monitor back in 2008, after Hurricane Gustav roared through.   Here’s the link:

In “Victory,” poet Rosemary Cobham writes about blackbirds singing even on the battlefield. “They wait not on the dawn, They sing it on.”  Rumi’s “The Breeze at Dawn” may well have been sung and not simply recited. Music and dance played an important part in his Muslim ministry.  I think even in the darkest of circumstances, there’s a song of victory on that breeze at dawn.  Let’s not go back to sleep. Let’s sing it on.


Not only in the peaceful countryside
Do blackbirds sing.
In city’s trafficking
You’ll hear them
Through the traffic’s din.
They will, I’m told,
Sing even on a battlefield.

Brave and grateful hearts
Make no conditions.
You will hear their song
Pealing spontaneously long
Before healing is apparent.
Their joy inherent,
They wait not on the dawn,
They sing it on.

This they know
God made man perfect, and maintains him so.
And so they sing.
To songs of gratitude illusions yield;
Gone is the battlefield.

(1971 Christian Science Sentinel, vol. 73, p. 456)


Gratitude’s Lens

Long days and short nights have become the norm recently.  I think of Buckminster Fuller (discoverer/inventer of the geodesic dome) and Martha Stewart at such times.  I read that they attributed their great productivity to sleeping no more than 4 hours a night.

I attribute my stamina to gratitude. Sunday morning, 4 hours before I needed to leave for the airport, I put my head on my pillow and thought how grateful I was for large and small gifts of grace from our dear Father-Mother, God.

  • For dear Tim who’s letting me go to Boston for 5 weeks to attend a Christian Science Nursing Arts course at the Chestnut Hill Benevolent Association;
  • for the folks at the CHBA who are allowing me to join the class;
  • for Peace Haven’s Christian Science nurses who day in and day out tenderly care for the individual needs of our patients with inspiration, camaraderie and joy;
  • for Toni and Barry who will fill in for me while I’m away with wisdom and wit;
  • for Suzan and the board for supporting Peace Haven’s training partnership with Nursing Arts;
  • for Jack in Tanzania who couldn’t make his dad or me happier;
  • for  my soft pillow;
  • for my alarm app on my phone . . .

I’ve kept up my gratitude through some choppy waters.  Lost my drivers license and credit card somewhere at Logan Airport.  Prayed and retraced steps, called the cab company, emptied my purse for the umpteenth time.  I was praying and affirming the presence and onliness of good. But I will admit to some humiliating tears at the TSA desk as I explained my predicament — no picture i.d.  Then this unexpected grace:  to a man and woman, the  guards were only comforting and quietly reassuring.

I must not fit their profile. Which got me thinking about identity.  Mine couldn’t be taken from me.  Nor could man’s inherent innocence be taken from him.  More on that perhaps in another blog.

I loved discovering  in “The Lens of Gratitude” by L. Ivimy Gwalter: “The presence of gratitude in our hearts is the reflection of Love.  . . it dispels fear; it dissipates discouragement. . . Gratitude is as natural and unlabored as the fragrance of the flower.”

And speaking of unlabored, I loved this translation of the 23rd Psalm in Japanese Bible that Marjorie Dagnall shared with us in her talk on Tuesday morning (I thought of you, dear Chrstian Science nurses!):

The Lord is my Pace-setter, I shall not rush;
He makes me stop and rest for quiet intervals,
He provides me with images of stillness, which restore my serenity,
He leads me in the ways of efficiency through calmness of mind,
And His guidance is peace.

Even though I have a great many things to accomplish each day,
I will not fret, for His presence is here,
His timelessness, His all-importance, will keep me in balance,
He prepares refreshment and renewal in the midst of my activity,
By anointing my mind with His oils of tranquility.

My cup of joyous energy overflows,
Surely harmony and effectiveness shall be the fruits of my hours,
For I shall walk in the pace of my Lord and dwell in His house for ever.

With love and joy, M