Breathing Deeply


This poem was presented as part of the Love and Change: A Journey of the Spirit session at UUA General Assembly on June 27, 2014

No one needs to tell you to breathe.

You don’t need permission,

For you are already breathing.

You have been breathing your entire life outside of the womb.

You know very well how do to it without instruction,

You will continue to breathe until it is time to stop.

You may naturally have short breaths,

Or long and slow.

They may be uneven

Or ragged.

But you are already breathing…

And you can journey back with that breath

Before you had that head cold,

Or bronchitis.

Before being out of breath from a run or trying to catch a bus or train,

Before the breathing as you gave birth,

Or the gasps and sobs of joy or sorrow.

Journey back to your first breath,

Back to that first rush of air,

Maybe sudden, maybe gradual…

But back to that first moment, 

That affirmed your presence in the physical world.

Inspired by something divine, unimaginable,

Scientific, profound.

Accompanied by a giggle or a gurgle or a cry.

Your first breath.

It was sweet and fragrant,

With all the smells of fertility and life unleashed,

Burning with anticipation of all that future breaths would bring.

Because each breath was sure to bring change.

Your first breath.

Let your next breath bring you back

To your first breath,

When the world became new.

Let your next breath

Be your first breath

Full of joy and pain.

Let the next breath

Be the first breath.

Let it change with you.

Let the next breath

Be the breath of your world still becoming new.

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