A prayer for commuters

Emmy Lou Packard, “California Morning,” ca.1950s

I step out into the dawn air to hear the morning music of the birds, the cardinals, the robins, the wrens. But it’s muffled by the steady hum from the nearby freeway. Streams of commuters are bearing down on their day, speeding toward their many responsibilities. I say a prayer for them before going inside.

Imagine beginning your day by singing just for the joy of it, just because your little slice of earth has turned back toward the sun. Imagine beginning the day with gladness first, before you remember all the things you are dreading, before you make the coffee, before you look at the news.

Morning has broken
Like the first morning,
Blackbird has spoken
Like the first bird.
Praise for the singing!
Praise for the morning!
Praise for them, springing
Fresh from the Word!

—Eleanor Farjeon (1881–1965)

That’s funny said the bird

by Anna Kamienska

What’s it like to be a human 
the bird asked

I myself don't know
it’s being held prisoner by your skin 
while reaching infinity 
being a captive of your scrap of time 
while touching eternity 
being hopelessly uncertain 
and helplessly hopeful
being a needle of frost 
and a handful of heat 
breathing in the air 
and choking wordlessly 
it’s being on fire 
with a nest made of ashes 
eating bread 
while filling up on hunger
it’s dying without love 
it’s loving through death

That's funny said the bird
and flew effortlessly up into the air