I was taught in church, praying was like asking God for favors. When I pray for someone, I think of things that would be make me happier, if I were in their shoes. I know it’s all in us already, but praying seemed hard to me for a very long time, and I felt stupid trying to pray for someone, or telling them I’d prayed for them- almost like I was telling someone I thought I was better than they were, because they needed prayers and I did not, as I was not asking for them.
Then, my grandmother told me she prayed for me every night, and my dad said the same thing, and so did my mom, and then both of my grandparents. All of a sudden, praying made me feel less alone.
Why did I need to spend my time sending prayers when the Universe is always looking out for us? Then, I became aware that if I wanted to send someone love, I pictured things that made me feel loved. If I wished for someone to have their pain taken away, I remembered being taken care of, and how good that felt. Happiness worked the same way; things that made me happy were recalled, and sending them on to whomever I thought of made me happy, again. So it was like prayers for me, too.
Here are some of the things I would send to you.
I think of laundry, folded after drying in the sun, with sunshine embedded between the threads, a warmth and a stiffness to the touch.
I think of fresh daisies, cut from the garden where grass grows, lingering in a jar, by a kitchen sink.
I realize the ending to a wedding, always the best, most memorable part, the kiss and the beginning of a new life; the smiles exchanged by bride and groom, I send you those.
The moment you’re overwhelmed with how small you are and how big life can be, I send you those feelings or waves of hugeness and smallness, all at the same time.
I give you strength between sets at the gym or one more kick to go higher than you’ve ever gone on a swing set, and the freedom of flying off from the very top.
I give you a small blade of grass between moist lips and fingertips, learning to whistle as a child, and send you that feeling of accomplishment.
When you’re down and out, nothing’s going right, I send the first slice of birthday cake, or a picture, drawn by a child, illustrating all that’s good in life.
I send you flowers, hallmark greeting cards, and teddy bears, all those thoughts that count- they really do.
I send you wishes, floating off birthday candles from miles and miles, all of them sent to you, enveloping you like clouds after a rainstorm.
I pray for you to feel the joy of a child’s laughter, the feeling of someone treating your hurt, and a mommy’s everlasting love, my prayers reflect these things for you.
I don’t know how to take away your hurt, or despair, loneliness, sickness, or sadness, but I’ll send you the first bloom in springtime and the feeling of sitting on Santa’s knee, all the kaleidoscopes on Planet Earth, and a big balloon won from the circus.
Do you like downward dogs, the cooling waves of Vic’s being rubbed on a sick chest by Mom, the tides coming in and breaking the early morning shoreline, the sharpened pencils on the first day of school? I’ll present them to you, blown across space and time like a thoughtful kiss.
There’s a licking newborn puppy, wagging its tail, a friendly wave from a neighbor as they’re out cutting their lawn. The smell of green fresh grass being cut; that’s for you, too.
I send you the bass from the speakers at a rock concert, the coziness and warmth of sitting by a fire with a mug of hot chocolate and feet up, and the sensation of rocky mountain climbing.
My breath inhales and exhales; I’m visualizing a crystal clear sunset, the boom from the stadium as a home run is hit, a starburst into flame on a summer’s night on the Fourth of July, the excitement of the last day of school, magic of a sweet shared kiss, a slumber party, giggling and eating pizza.
I send you to a crystal clear moonlight, the forest in the morning dew, a rabbit’s heart beating fast.
What about falling in love, would you like that feeling as well? Ok, I’ll do it, and I’ll send you springtime flowers, hammocks and naps in the fading summer sun, the sweet smell of autumn leaves burning at the helm of a fire. I give you a dad’s love as he takes his daughter to her first dance, the last high note of a soprano singing a cappella, the way the room hushes when someone you love is passing, as we hear Soul leave Body. I leave you this, and more.
There’s so many things I want to give you, but none of them are my own, and I can’t hold onto any. I can send the radiance surrounding the smile of an infant to you, so you’ll have that, so you’re not going to be missing out.
I don’t know how to say I’m sorry for your loss, I don’t know how to make you better, I don’t have the ability to take away your dang cancer, or give you back someone you’ve lost. There’s other ways I send you gifts, though, without you ever finding out, and my only hope is that they warm you, fill you with peace, and make it abundantly clear how much you are loved, and how often I think of you.
I pray for the happiest days you’ve ever felt, and more of them to come.