In honor of National Poetry Month, here’s one of my favorite poems by a Victorian Englishman known for his spiritual optimism:
The year’s at the spring
And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hillside’s dew-pearled;
The lark’s on the wing;
The snail’s on the thorn;
God’s in His heaven—
All’s right with the world.
Robert Browning (1812-1889)
The way to a peaceful life is to notice the perfection in God’s world and in ourselves, and nurture that perspective. When you look out with wide eyes of wonder and appreciate all that you see as a gift from God, including your own life working in harmony with nature, you will know what the poet meant.
Rather than seeing ourselves as connected to this world, we often feel we are in it to push it around and make it conform to us. Rather than accepting it, we twist it to feed our ego, creating havoc, imbalance, and what we call imperfection. Then the ultimate irony, we blame God for the very conditions we create out of the perfection that is our gift from God. The poet says, be at peace, don’t judge the world, observe it. Don’t try to straighten it out. Don’t manufacture problems. Be in awe of the perfection of it all.
Give yourself a gift of five minutes of contemplation in awe of everything you see around you. Go outside and turn your attention to the many miracles around you. This five-minute-a-day regimen of appreciation and gratitude will help you to focus your life in awe. Remind yourself that you are just as much a miracle as the lark and the snail. You, in fact, are what God is doing.
Trust and value your own divinity as well as your connection to nature. Seeing God’s work everywhere will be your reward.