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Today is Ash Wednesday and tomorrow is Valentine’s Day.

These are both important days because one is about life, death and love, and the other is about life, death and love.

Poems for Lent

As my spiritual practice for Lent this year, I will write a poem every day. Prayers and poems are good friends, sometimes one and the same. In writing poetry during Lent, I hope to grow closer to the light.

Poems as gifts

Have you already picked out something to give to your Valentine? Why not add a poem? Don’t worry about not knowing poetry. You already recognize a good poem without having to think about it or spend years working at it.

Poetry is a God-given right

The essence is in you from birth. You can refine your abilities, as a reader, writer and listener, but you already have poetry in your heart, passed down from the time you lived beneath your mother’s heart.

My poem for you today

I want you to know
I’ve had a good time here so far.
You open the door for me and
I notice your thoughtfulness.

Thank you for making this a world where doors open.

I want you to know
you belong here.
How you are and who you are matters.
Those around you today might not be the same people around you tomorrow.
Tell them today why you’re glad to see them.

Thank you for being part of this time on earth.

I want you to know
you’re not alone.
Someone else is awake at 3 a.m. You’re not alone.
Loneliness doesn’t have to be a killer.
It can be the start of a friendship
if you give it words.

Someone I didn’t know well called and asked how I was doing.
“I’m lonely,” I said.
“I’ll come over,” she said.
She brought a pizza. We became friends. We had babies.
Our babies played together. It started with saying, “I’m lonely.”

Loneliness comes to everyone. Single people
might think marriage is an answer but if you
know enough married people, you know
loneliness can live there too among the married.

Give the loneliness a place to be. Put it in words.
Put it in art. Put it in song. You can make something
out of your loneliness. Be an alchemist.

Thank you for not giving up because of
moments of loneliness. Thank you for staying.

I want you to know
your feelings have value but not always meaning.
We have times we feel abandoned and betrayed.
Go on. Don’t let pain be the end of you.
Make peace with it.
Sometimes it’s just a feeling and it doesn’t mean anything
about you.
Feelings are clouds passing by.
Some are bright, some are thunderheads.
Let them all pass by. You’re a sky, not a cloud.

Thank you for living in a world of feelings
even when they’re hard feelings.

I want you to know
there’s more to find out.
Keep looking!
Keep finding out!
Splash your face with curiosity and
wake up!
Go toward the thing that makes your heart pound.
Get to know what you fear.
Keep finding things to wonder about.

Thank you for teaching me that it’s interesting to live.

I want you to know
I appreciate you believing in me
when I didn’t believe in life.
You, the people of the world, did this for me! You gave me the sense
I was part of something important, this adventure where we pack our
bags with different items but we all have stories.

Thank you for trusting me with your real stories.

I want you to know
I notice all the big and small things you do.
You help me with my zipper when my own hands can’t do it.
You feed me when I’m hungry.
You say, “Don’t worry about your life.”
You give me a ride when it’s cold and rainy out.
You ask after me.
You know my favorite kind of donut.
You go out of your way to make sure I’m safe.
You smile.
You bring me my favorite drink, hot tea with sugar.
You are patient with children and tender with the old.
You say my name with affection.

Thank you for making my life lighter.

I want you to know
I like hearing you laugh:
children, friends over lunch in a restaurant,
people reminiscing how their loved ones were,
missing them but still
laughing because they could be so funny
about sand in the house or about the speed of the coffee maker.

Thank you for the sound of laughter. Thank you for
remembering those who have gone.

I want you to know
love still matters.
Look around. Who do you love?
Tell them. Tell them in a hundred ways.
Enjoy them! Hug them, serve them food,
forgive them, write them notes. Say,

This is what I see in you.

You try hard. You get frustrated and discouraged but you go on.
You might have times of feeling alone or in pain but go on.

Thank you, world, for going on.

Go on.
Go on.
I love you.
God bless you.

Go on.

http://genevievehoward.com

10 Comment on “Open love letter to the people of the world

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