How many of us spend far too much time, loaded down with what we did not want or plan to be doing in this life? Common, unglamorous things, we judge neither exciting, nor particularly heroic. Also, haven’t most of us concluded we aren’t as beautiful, talented, or as smart as we had hoped we might be?
So what if we simply relaxed into this life of ours? What if we carved out temporary islands of satisfaction and gratitude? What if for just a few hours a week we declared our selves good and done? No complaints. Complete as we are. No need to improve ourselves even a little.
What if we declared our situations and lives with 2 simple words? It’s workable!
Of course, this new rhythm of declaring victory once in a while might paradoxically give us the courage to also carve out a few corresponding hours per week, where we “dreamed big,” as they say. This would be a “mode of living” without that heavy harness of beliefs and assumptions our culture freights us with concerning what is true about us and the world. It’s not.
After all, and at least at times, aren’t our feet as strong and steady as they need to be? Aren’t our ears capable of hearing the needs and grief-cries of the world and others? And don’t our hearts beat strong and yearn for the best?
Here’s a little piece to acknowledge your inner mule and to invite a few moments of unmitigated, non self-improving acceptance and joy. It is homage to not having to “accomplish” or “earn” anything in this world in order to belong to the family of things. And once in a while, to bray out loud even our smallest, most modest triumphs.
Celebrate your muleness! Stand firm on sacred ground.
The shifting mud under your feet is support enough.
Let your radar ears prick forward in silent reverence,
then do that trick you learned for shooing flies.
“Ugly is as ugly does,” my Mother taught.
That lumbering way you sway across these soon-to-be
green grounds, is enough to make a mule parent proud.
Yes, the humble game you’re playing isn’t your dream life,
yet daily dragging your body across these dark fertile fields
is a kind of solemn prayer when done with heart. For
planting seeds of light and grain is awfully close to
how Jesus did it, letting that manna fly from the sky.
“Bloom where you are planted,” Mom always said.
“Caress the earth with your plow,” I say. Of course,
you didn’t sign up for all this, but still, joy to the world. But
still, you can bray your way into the heart of things. Listen,
despite it all, you are who you were always meant to be.