|Our Granddaughter's School|
May all who walk those halls be blessed.
I started offering this blessing in the fall when I drove past the school our granddaughter was attending. The halls were more chaotic than calm, and the challenges of actually conducting school seemed difficult at best. I worried for her safety and the safety of all who enter those doors, but I knew adding my anxious energy was not helpful. Instead, I decided to send a loving blessing, which is really a way of showing one's care.
Our granddaughter has moved to another school, one that is a better match for her and is a place where the focus can be on learning. We are so grateful she has the luxurious opportunity to be there, and when I drive by her new school, I offer the same blessing. "May all who walk those halls be blessed," but I also continue to whisper the same blessing to her former school each time I pass.
I think blessings matter, and I am attempting to build a blessing habit in my life.
Early morning when I go up to my garret for meditation and devotion time, I hear a car in the alley, a neighbor heading to work, I presume, and I say a quick "blessings to you." About that same time I hear a bird, one I have not identified, but I think that bird is blessing me, and I offer one in return. "Blessings to you, too." If during the day I hear or see an ambulance or police car with sirens blaring, I put my hand on my heart, and say, "Blessed be you." I don't need to know what has happened, what the emergency is, but I want to extend my human caring, and I can do that in the form of a blessing.
Many years ago I sat in a MacDonalds writing or reading before heading to a meeting. A couple about my age sat across from me. They were having an intense, although quiet, conversation, and I could tell they were struggling with each other. I have no idea what the issue was, and I did not need to know, but I stopped my writing and reading. I put down my book and my pen and closing my eyes, I took a deep, long breath and inside my head and heart repeated, "May you be blessed. May you be blessed." I have often wondered how those two are and if they resolved the painful problems between them, but I also thank them for they introduced me to the spiritual practice of blessing those I don't know. I felt their humanity, wounded, but striving, and I felt connected to them and knew I could offer something they needed. A blessing.
Barbara Brown Taylor in her An Altar in the World, A Geography of Faith says, "…a blessing does not confer holiness. The holiness is already there, embedded in the very giveness of the thing." p. 203. When you start offering blessings, you start noticing--blessings are a kind of mindfulness.
One more story. We have been privileged over the years to be included in the celebration of Jewish holidays, and I hold in my heart the remembrance of our dear friend lighting the candles and reciting a blessing.
Baruch Atah, Adonai Elohenu, Melech Ha-Olam,
Ha-Motzi Lehem Min Ha-Aretz.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe,
who brings forth bread from the earth.
I didn't know the Hebrew she was speaking, but I felt blessed in those moments, we were all closer to the Divine.
When have you blessed? When have you offered blessings and who or what is waiting for your blessing? I would love to know.