Just before Christmas, bits and pieces of this poem came to mind. I couldn’t quite remember all of the words and I couldn’t think of the name of it. For days, I kept telling myself, “Google that poem. Google the poem.”
Then one day, I was in the bathroom of our local bookstore, having done my business and was washing my hands when I looked up and saw this — my favorite part of the poem:
It’s a fabulous poem. A friend gave me a copy of it after I had finished grad school and was about to start my job as a 1st grade teacher. I had the poem by my desk and read it nearly every morning before the children arrived at the classroom. Today, the poem makes me think about being present, as a mom, wife, sister, daughter, yoga teacher and friend.
You Reading This, Be Ready
Starting here, what do you want to remember?
How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
What scent of old wood hovers, what softened
sound from outside fills the air?
Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now? Are you waiting
for time to show you some better thoughts?
When you turn around, starting here, lift this
new glimpse that you found; carry into evening
all that you want from this day. This interval you spent
reading or hearing this, keep it for life.
What can anyone give you greater than now,
starting here, right in this room, when you turn around?
— William Stafford