By Pat Winslow
From our first to our last,
every breath is an act
Breaths are like steps.
Each one follows
just as one smile follows another.
One smile invites
the next smile.
In this way we build a journey -
even if we have to learn
to do them again
Some things outside us
makes us smile inside –
birdsong, children, sunshine,
random acts of kindness – phone calls,
texts, how are you, a sandwich,
jam and scone, a cup of tea.
What was outside we bring into the warm.
We are the sum total
of these things.
We are the sum total of each other.
Therefore, be gentle,
Cuddle up to someone you love,
someone who loves you,
a dog or a cat.
Take delight in laughter, flowers, knitting.
Sing when you hang out the washing.
Dance when you’re in the mood.
And play! You’re never too old for a train set.
Remember the whistle, the smell of coal,
an oily rag, the smoke.
Wave a flag. Celebrate every rainbow,
every snowflake, bluebell,
and April shower.
Look at home from a different angle.
Put your heart in your hands
and reach out.
Imagine a grassy view to the Thames.
Look beyond, ahead.
You can’t stop a river going forward.
Be like the river – get to
where you’re going
but don’t forget to stop along the way
and taste each moment
there’s no going back.