Saturday, January 23, 2021

Grateful for Words That Refresh

She read books as one would
breathe air, to fill up and live.

Words have changed my world. The peace, tranquility, and joy I experience has so often come through the books I have read. I am in awe of writers and poets who—through their unique creative expression, discipline, and sacrifice—have enhanced my own life. Such a debt of gratitude I owe to them for finding ways to continually offer me light, hope, peace, insight, aha moments, and kindred connections. I ask you, what would we do without our books?

When I read something that grabs my heart, I'll jot it down in my journal. And if it turns out that there's too much I want to copy down, I'll try to purchase rather than borrow the book. Underlined and 'starred', these favourite passages become guideposts—tiny lights filled with inspiration and focus. I turn to them time and again when I need my imagination refueled.

Today, I offer a few lines I've gleaned from my reading since the start of the new year. These words ground me even as they add a sparkle to my current Covid-quiet life. I hope you will find a shimmer of inspiration for yourself, making today's visit worth your while.

Note: Below, I bolded the particular phrases that speak to me in this season. Do you have any particular words or phrases haunting your thoughts (in a good way, I hope) these days?

May you find sacred space and make room
for Holy Presence, and there find exactly
what your soul needs.

Respond to the call of your gift
and the courage to follow its path.

In truth, we don't know which of our acts in the
present will shape our future. But we have to behave
as if everything we do matters. Because it might.

Everything we do ripples out through creation,
i.e., we are embodied in all creation and therefore
part of what we are goes back through all creation.

What doth God require of thee but
to do justice and to love mercy, and
to walk humbly with thy God?

as shared by Anne Lamott in her book
Hallelujah Anyway, Rediscovering Mercy

I want to be famous to shuffling men
who smile while crossing streets,
sticky children in grocery lines,
famous as the one who smiled back.

I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,
or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,
but because it never forgot what it could do.

lines from her poem "Famous"

Home is a symbol of the self.
Caring for home is caring for one's self.

It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just pay attention, then patch
a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway
into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.
MARY OLIVER, "Praying"

 Maybe this is why we read,
and why in moments of darkness
we return to books: to find words
for what we already know.


Reading gives us someplace to go
when we have to stay where we are.

* * *

Wishing you a beautiful day.

Heart Hugs,

Photos: All Images from Pixabay


  1. Such beautiful quotes! Thank you for sharing them, they will be jotted in my book of quotes. Words are a lifeline and Hope in times like these.

  2. Great inspiration to glean from your quotes! Wishing you a special weekend!

  3. I love all these quotes. My favorite are the lines from "Famous": I want to be the one who smiled back. Thank you for sharing these tidbits of joy!

  4. Hello Dear Brenda....Always your posts are inspiration and gentle. Love them. Thanks for your visit. Always love to see you have stopped by. Hugs. Susan

  5. These are wonderful words gleaned from your reading. I, too, write down quotes from my reading. When I lost my glasses overboard in a remote area a couple of years ago, and my reading was curtailed abruptly, Tim felt so bad and said, "For you, reading is like breathing." Annie Dillard obviously feels the same. Stay cozy!

  6. A bushelful of lovely and meaningful quotes! I think a lot, in these days of upheaval and heartbreak for so many, on these words from Rainer Maria Rilke, "Perhaps somewhere, someplace deep inside your being, you have undergone important changes while you were sad." I find it hopeful to think that even in the circumstances that are beyond our control right now, there could be the possibility of real and lasting change for the better.

  7. Thank you dear Brenda for these inspiring and thought provoking quotes. I love to read and my books are full of stars and underlinings and dates and notes as to the impact in my life. Have a lovely Sunday and a great week ~ FlowerLady

  8. I enjoyed each and every one of these quotes. Beautifully presented. Greatly appreciated.

  9. What a wonderful quote from Annie Dillard. Reading is breathing for me and I cannot imagine a life without the written, or spoken word. Now that my husband has lost all of his sight it is so important that he at least hears words. I read to him often, snippets from the newspaper and articles from Country Living. He has the Talking books which are a lifeline.
    Where would we be without words?

  10. Oh my Bren, you must certainly know this post makes me ever so happy. I truly love each and every quote. And, love the photos you placed with them. That can be difficult sometimes. I am especially fond of Mary Oliver and her poem, that you have shared, "Blue Iris" is a favorite.

    After I retired I volunteered at our Literacy Center, working with adults who were non-readers. It was thrilling for me to see them as they learned to put words together and to read.

    Wishing you happy winter days and enjoy your reading.

  11. Lovely lovely quotes, all of them! I particularly like the lines from the poem Famous and am making a note of the poet's name.

  12. I love the idea of being "famous" by smiling back at fellow journeyers!

    The words that have been "haunting" me (yes, in a good way) are those words of the poem/hymn that I shared on my blog recently . . . "Thy Word is Like a Garden, Lord."

    Wishing you a beautiful week's beginning!

  13. Thank you for this touching post. I love when you post quotes.
    I never thought about words "haunting me", but thinking about this, yes, words do haunt me.
    Pondering about these words. I might come back and share.

  14. Heartwarming quotes, Brenda. I always take away such a peaceful feeling after reading your blog. Thank you for making my world a happier place. Hugs!

  15. Such beautiful words, Brenda, they resonated with my. My favorite quote these days is - a big life is expensive, a small life is priceless. Take good care!

  16. Your post about flowers, garden and happiness is really cute!!! I also try to stay happy with my kids and family so i give them gifts like baby toys, other stuff for adults etc.

  17. sacred scripture words bring comfort and peace also

  18. Hi Brenda. I love reading. It takes me to places I know I'll never go. Although I have many limitations, I try to keep an attitude of gratitude. I also make up my mind to be happy every day, because I know it is good for my health. Life, even spent within the four walls of your home can be exciting when you have a good book to read, and you focus on the good things in your life. I so enjoyed your post and your quotes! It truly is a pleasure to visit you here at A Beautiful Life! Wishing you joy, my friend...Sandi


To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xo