What, me worry?

My friend Heidi Schmidt is currently a missionary in Argentina. She has also served in Brazil, South Africa and other countries. She writes daily meditations which she shares under the title “Catch of the Day.” Today’s meditation resonated deeply with me, a perennial worrier, who comes from a line of worriers. It also struck me because of how much more birds are singing this year with the traffic and airplane noise reduced. I hope you find Heidi’s words as helpful as I do.

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“I Worried” by Mary Oliver

I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers
flow in the right direction, will the earth turn
as it was taught, and if not how shall
I correct it?

Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven,
can I do better?

Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows
can do it and I am, well,
hopeless.

Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it,
am I going to get rheumatism,
lockjaw, dementia?

Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
And gave it up. And took my old body
and went out into the morning,
and sang.

It is hard to sing and worry at the same time. Thank God. My goodness have I worried. A lot. Years of my life gone in worry. That came to nothing. And so I go about practicing singing. Often. As often as I remember, and take this old body out into the morning, and sing. Like the birds do.

They seem to know how to do this terribly well, so when I forget, I will look for a bird, and listen. And take their advice.

And sing. 

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