Archives for the month of: March, 2018

Across our valley one day last week the setting sun kissed the tops of the hills. Continuing its arc to the west, it cast shadows that revealed the contours of the terrain that are hidden from our view at midday. The sight grabbed my attention. With their fleeting hues the passing moments of twilight were blessing the day, bestowing a fuller perception of its gifts and lessons.

Mid-way through my eighth decade I see the sun’s retreat from the peaks as a visual reminder of my life’s twilight. I am learning to embrace it. Slowly cleaning the clutter of expired years, I revisit and cull correspondence and writings, claiming the perspectives they provide on the people and events who have brought joy, challenge and meaning to my life. Like the contours of the hills revealed by the setting sun, views appear that were missed while I had been absorbed in the day’s dramas.

However, twilight’s perspectives are not reserved for the final decades of life. They are available whenever the light of our mindfulness softens the sky. Times of perplexity or promise, when we may procrastinate or prevail, can point us to the blessings of a new understanding.

Some lines from John O’Donohue encourage us to pause at day’s end to capture and appreciate an insight hidden in the glare of our midday tasks.

As light departs to let the earth be one with night,

Silence deepens in the mind, and thoughts grow slow;

The basket of twilight brims over with colors

Gathered from within the secret meadows of the day

And offered like blessings to the gathering Tenebrae.

(from “Vespers” in To Bless the Space Between Us, p. 183)


Have you asked yourself lately where you are in your life? Are you clear about your purpose, the reason you are here? Are you fulfilling it? Are you content with your answers?

The familiar Shaker hymn reminds us – ’tis the gift to be simple. ‘tis the gift to be free. ‘tis the gift to come ‘round where we ought to be.

First, a disclaimer: the word “ought” can be fraught with danger. Too many of us “should” all over ourselves to the point of diminishment, convincing ourselves we are not enough. Rather than self-blame, what if we think of “where we ought to be” as an embrace of the truth of who we are and why we are here?

Having said that, I don’t want to imply that “simple” means easy. Rather, simplifying involves focusing on the essentials of who we are and aligning ourselves accordingly. It is a process that can reveal and reinforce the gifts we have been given and those we bring to others. Our circles of influence may be small, but they are uniquely ours and critically important.

If you have not yet explored deeply your sense of life’s purpose or wish to revisit it, let me suggest a resource that served me well over a decade ago – Alan Seale’s Soul Mission, Life Vision book and training.

Having a clear sense of purpose is one of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves and others. Knowing who we are, why we are here, and having a vision for how we can live that purpose is a significant key to a rewarding and fulfilling life.

May each of us in our own way manifest our intention “to come ‘round where we ought to be.” What’s your first next step?