What makes your heart sing?

I am currently in a place that makes my heart sing everyday. I live beside a lake in Minnesota. Some days when I’m walking the wooded trails, not another human being in sight, I pinch myself (in my mind) to make sure this is happening. I am blessed in this moment. I give thanks. Every day is dedicated to writing. There are ongoing spiritual conversations with my colleagues, with monks and sisters and students and and professors and devotees of all faiths—Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist.

I will eventually end this chapter in December and move on…As we know, all good things eventually come to an end. Mercifully, so do hard and difficult things. Life is a continuing river that we swim in, sometimes floating, sometimes thrashing around for our lives.


Life is so short and the political season is so long, that more and more, my motto is “joy”. If possible, amidst the crappy potholes of life, the media on steroids and all the things humans do to make life impossibly depressing,find something or someone that brings you joy. Everyday. And gratitude for the good stuff. Did I mention that?

Recently I came across a beautiful conversation about deep listening to the land. It is from the spiritual wisdom of the Aboriginal people of Australia. Our heart’s song is so often connected to the spiritual art of listening.

The following is from my upcoming book, to be published in Spring 2017…the title is the same as this week’s essay. It is my musings on two non-human loves in my life. Bees and Music.

“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”
Aldous Huxley, Music at Night and Other Essays

The tiny honeybee makes my heart sing. Even as I write this, I am surrounded in my backyard by the busy buzz of hundreds of thousands of bees flying in and out of their hives. It is music. Bees are life. Their return is marked by the advent of flowers. They are the sacred guardians of our land, air, and water, pollinating our food to the tune of one in three bites. When the habitat around them becomes toxic, they imbibe this and die. Our existence is intertwined with these enchanted creatures. They are the canaries in the mine for our future, as well as theirs.

Because of my particular fascination with bees, I am happy as a clam when I can work on behalf of bees. Educating, advocating, talking about the wonder of bees to schoolchildren or adults. The time spent working in the hive is also soul time. It’s like that when you love something or someone. Your heartstrings thrum with joy when you are in the presence of this thing, this being that makes your heart sing.

Precious little time is made in our lives to consider what makes our heart sing, and then going about and doing it. Nurturing our soul’s song in alignment with our Divine purpose is not something we necessarily learn, side by side with potty training. The voices that have shaped us, by and large have been about economic practicality and efficiency of time. We stay in the salt mines, our faces pointed toward our retirement packages or our failing health, holding our breath til we are released. Thank God Almighty, free at last.

This is not inherently a bad thing. This lifetime does require prudence, after all. But don’t miss out on your soul’s song, or silence it too early.

For then, it may be too late.




Next Week, The Benedictine connection with the Hive Mind and honeycomb

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