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It is mid November. The tall trees slowly shed their leaves in an act of seasonal giving. The forest floor cradles the precious gift of glorious colors with autumnal grace. The winds seem to shift from their warm hue to a coooler shade of blue. There is much talk of the upcoming ‘holidays’ in the air, and ‘thanksgiving’ is less than a week away.

It is perhaps time to reflect on how our practice of ‘giving’ and ‘receiving’ has evolved over the years. How can we make this ‘thanksgiving’ more filled with purpose than the ones of years past? It is relatively easy for us to be graceful and thankful in our acts of giving. How can we attach the same level of grace to our receiving? Can we become like the forest floor in autumn and let our hearts be wide open in our receiving?

As the wind whooshes through in the ‘wind tunnel’ between my home and the forest behind it, I clutch my cup of warm tea a little bit more firmly. It is as if I am trying to hold on to the sliver of summer’s residual warmth, before the onset of winter takes it away from me. The open book of Rumi’s poetry in front of me reminds me of grace…

Who is this with his hand out
saying, please, give just a little,
so I can give you a kingdom.

A little further on, I am reminded of eternity…

He makes this dying world eternal
His greatest alchemy
is how he does the unbinding
that keeps love from breathing deep.

And the value of patience…

Every second he changes cruelty
to loyal friendship.

We think of ourselves as ‘givers’ and ‘receivers’, and then there is this reminder…

Out of unconditioned emptiness
comes this planet with all its qualities.

And then, a nudge towards the grace of silence, of being, of becoming…

Be silent now.
Say fewer and fewer praise poems.
Let yourself become living poetry.
– Rumi in ‘Soul Houses’

Ever so slightly, I loosen my clasp on the warm cup of tea. I walk over to the tightly shut window, and loosen the latch to crack it open a little bit. The whooshing wind rushes in. Ever so slightly, in small actions performed with love, I yield. I am going to greet winter with grace. For it, I shall be thankful. Let me receive it with the same heart-filled-with-joy that I received summer, spring and autumn.

I may be excessive with my giveaway impulses,
but I still have what you gave
when you held my head against your chest
– Rumi in ‘What You Gave’

Let me take this opportunity to express my deep gratitude to every single one of you in the #SpiritChat community… Thank you for adding your grace to my life.

I will be silent now…

Kumud @AjmaniK

P.S. Join me and the #SpiritChat community as we explore ‘Giving and Grace’ – Sunday, November 19th at 9amEST / 2pm UTC / 7:30pm IST on twitter.

A Fall Sunset