The Richness of Life
There are times when all of us question our ability to enjoy the depth of feeling, fulfillment and richness of the life we desire. That is why generations of students have been deeply moved by T. S. Eliot’s conclusion that he does not think the mermaids “will sing to me.” But the mermaids are always there for us. In fact, the joy and feeling the mermaids represent can never be taken away because they arise from our innermost selves.
Most children are actively engaged in a world they perceive to be made for their pleasure. They expect that parents should love them enormously. Friends and teachers should fill each day with interest and fun. And young people rarely forget how to feel. They are openly disappointed if there isn’t plenty of ice cream, distressed at the ending of each day. Only the saddest of children fear that birds, mermaids or all of life might prefer to sing for someone who could respond more deeply.
But as time passes, life creates doubts in the confident expectations of childhood. It becomes apparent that loving support from parents is not always forthcoming, that friends and teachers can be hurtful, and that we can stop feeling the hopefulness of each new day. We all feel confusion about such disappointments. Does the world deny us the sense of well-being we want most in life, or are we not capable or worthy of receiving what we need?
If we come to the conclusion that life holds no joy for us to receive, we are overlooking a great deal. Certainly, the pleasures children know arise from experience which is available to all of us. The kinds of things that brought satisfaction in the past are there for us now. We have only to reach for them. While life presents many challenges and cannot be lived without pain, there is, at the same time, endless opportunity for fulfillment.
As we open ourselves to the feelings that are natural to our being, life will respond to our desire. Being closed off from life is a temporary sensation. And rather than a lack of feeling, it is a very deep feeling that can be altered, a capacity that can be used more positively. Human beings have the potential for happiness and satisfaction. Morning song is for everyone. Kindness and compassion reach to all humankind. There are no dead souls.
We must never lose sight of the potential in us for the satisfaction we desire in life. Our inner selves long to feel the richness of the world around us. We know this is true because we all remember when not only the birds, but all life, seemed to be singing especially for us.
SING to ME
Morning mists rise
and reach to me
to soften the tangles
that harden my life
to unfold the worries
binding my heart.
Birds, singing each to each,
sing to me, too,
help loosen the ties
unravel the cares
releasing bound hopes
to fly with them, free.
The enriching life of the universe is my life. The world around me is poised to respond to my inner self.
I feel the warmth of sunshine, the soothing power of rain, the sweetness of birdsong. They comfort my deepest self. In the same way, I open myself to all that brings me what I desire.
I fill my life with the good that is mine. My innermost being echoes the richness of life.