William Stafford, You Reading This, Be Ready

The Weekly Word: is an invitation to reflect on how God speaks to us through poetry, literature, and the visual arts. Share your reflections online so that we can join together on this journey of faith throughout the week.

William Stafford, You Reading This, Be Ready
from There’s a Thread You Follow (1993)

Starting here, what do you want to remember?
How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
What scent of old wood hovers, what softened
sound from outside fills the air?

Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now? Are you waiting
for time to show you some better thoughts?

When you turn around, starting here, lift this
new glimpse that you found; carry into evening
all that you want from this day. This interval you spent
reading or hearing this, keep it for life –

What can anyone give you greater than now,
starting here, right in this room, when you turn around?

For Reflection:
Pause and appreciate the small moments: what sights, sounds, smells, and tastes do you look forward to this season? What seasonal traditions do you celebrate and why are they important to you? Where do you find God in these moments?

2 Replies to “William Stafford, You Reading This, Be Ready”

  1. Thanks for this opportunity to reflect. The greatest sight for me this time of year are the changing colors of the leaves. This definitely gives me a sense of God and all the beauty of nature that abounds us. This time of reflecting the word is most interesting and I look forward to seeing what others have to say. Thanks.

  2. Yes, I too love the changing colors! Every year, toward the end of summer, I tell myself to be sure to pause and soak up the fall colors when they start to appear. Take time, I tell myself, to revel in those very few “perfect” autumn days when the trees are vibrant, the sunlight is warm, and the sky is a deep blue yet scattered with foreboding rain clouds. This practice is a way for me to express my thankfulness to God that here I am, living through another turn of the seasons and witnessing such natural beauty. This poem by Stafford always returns me to “the moment,” encouraging me to be present in this season and not take the time for granted.