We’re a rag-tag group of people vigilantly pursuing self-sustaining educational & employment opportunities with and for students and their families living in rural communities in developing countries. We believe in asking hard questions like, “What do you need and how can we help?” We believe that communities know their needs better than we do and that it’s our job to listen. We’re big on being kind for the sake of kindness and we believe that even the smallest acts of kindness can make a big difference. We believe in keeping vigil over one another and watching for opportunities to help, no matter how far off the beaten path those opportunities take us. We’re vigilant in our belief that God has given each person unique gifts and that one of the highest forms of worship is using those gifts to serve others. We believe God has a purpose for each life and Vigilante Kindness is our purpose. Join us as we live out wild adventures in service of God and others. Join us in committing acts of Vigilante Kindness.
Children have such a way with words, pairing combinations that just pulse off the page. Their little lips seem to spill poetry. I’m lucky enough to be a fly on the wall when they mish mash those beautiful combinations.
Poet Naomi Shihab Nye collected some of the things her son said and reads his words here in her poem “One Boy Told Me”.
You are, no doubt, scrambling for a piece of paper this very second to write down the wonders that have slipped through the lips of your son, daughter, niece, nephew, granddaughter, grandson, the kid next door, or even that funny kid in front of you in line at the post office. Do it, grab a pencil and write it down. Quick, before your grown-up brain forgets and instead fills up with mundane things like the grocery list. And then share your lines or a link to them in the comments section please. It’s National Poetry Month and we all deserve a little more poetry in our lives.
I am completely over the moon for Poetry Everywhere. Oh, I’ve mentioned that before? Like 100 times? Well, make this 101 because Seamus Heaney’s poem “Blackberry Picking” has swept me back to my childhood, picking blackberries with my family. His beautiful imagery inspired me to write my own poem about blackberries. It’s for my big brother, Jeff, perhaps the only person in the world who loves blackberries more than I do.
Our family car is the color of overcooked green beans.
We pile in the backseat and drive to the river,
Always the river,
To relieve the heat that leaves us cracked and withered.
We don’t care about sweat beading on our brows or our legs sticking to the seats.
My brother and I hope for blackberries,
Buckets of blackberries,
Ripe with the sweet taste of summer.
We grab our empty buckets, peel ourselves out of the car and race to the brambles.
We reach into the bushes, cajoling the stems to surrender their jewels,
The jewels of summer,
Treasures between our teeth, tender on our tongues.
The tangles of thorns scratch at our browned arms and legs,
We bleed, my brother and I.
The blackberries bleed with us,
In our hands, in our buckets, blackberry wine trickling down our lips.
Our stained mouths bellow purple shouts of jubilee,
Our voices carry beyond the thicket, beyond the river
Our giggles echo on the water,
The mighty river, always laughing with us.
Our buckets are full, our bellies round jars of jam
Our cheeks blush with kisses from the sun,
The sun that rises,
To ripen blackberries for her children.
We pile into the car, our skin salty and sticky sweet.
The car is heavy with summer heat, cooking us until we wilt.
My brother and I exchange tired smiles, cradling our buckets,
Buckets brimming with blackberries, buckets brimming with joy.
And because you deserve a little more poetry in your life, here’s a video of Seamus Heaney’s “Picking Blackberries”. See how I put mine first so you won’t compare the two? Clever, no? Anyway, here is the poem that inspired me. There just aren’t many things better than poetry, blackberries, and the music of James Morrison.
I’m thrilled to be hosting Day In A Sentence this week.
Oh, you’re new here? Hi, I’m Alicia. Don’t worry, I’ll sit by you at the lunch table.
You don’t know what Day In A Sentence is? It’s okay. I’ll explain, but first you’ve just got to watch this real quick.
You want to watch it a second time? I did, too. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
I’ve watched Coleman Barks read this poem several times and I can’t stop chewing on the line “Let the beauty we love be what we do.” I could chew on that line for a long time and never be hungry again. It’s so nourishing, this idea of the beauty we love being what we do.
So here’s the task for this week’s Day In A Sentence: write a sentence about the beauty you love and how you manifested that today. Leave your sentence, your name, and a web address (if you’ve got one) in the comments section and I’ll release all of the sentences next Sunday. That’s it. Simple, right? And to think you were worried.