Be present

Posted by on Nov 9, 2008 in Missions | 0 comments

Practice presence
Breathe in the squeaky cry of a too-thin infant
dirt blowing off the road in your eyes
the pain of having too little to give

Breathe out flaming bougainvillea
the sun fading behind the hill
magic of medicine on an infected hand

Breathe in poverty and pain and confusion
the ache of tip-toeing on another’s suffering
Breathe out fresh watermelon
Honduran coffee in the morning
a game of duck-duck-goose.

Breathe in the guilt of problems unanswered,
wasted time, a broken world
Breathe out a new friendship and a fresh coat of paint.

Practice presence –
learn to sit still, listen longer, absorb more than you
thought you could – or even wanted to.

Remember your gifts –
be the first one to smile when passing another
expand a few vitamins into hope for a village
try to turn chaos into a dance.
Learn to let go.

Be still. Be present.

Shoulder to Shoulder, Santa Lucia, Honduras

Martha C. Carlough, MD, MPH
U of Rochester Family Medicine (Class of ’92)

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