Welcome to 31 Days of Poetry & Writing Prompts–Day 18.
by Walt Whitman
Why, who makes much of a miracle?
As to me I know of nothing else but miracles,
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky,
Or wade with naked feet along the beach just in the edge of the water,
Or stand under trees in the woods,
Or talk by day with anyone I love, or sleep in the bed at night with any one I love,
Or sit at table at dinner with the rest,
Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car,
Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive of a summer forenoon,
Or animals feeding in the fields,
Or birds, or the wonderfulness of insects in the air,
Or the wonderfulness of the sundown, or of stars shining so quiet and bright,
Or the exquisite delicate thin curve of the new moon in spring;
These with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles,
The whole referring, yet each distinct and in its place.
To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle,
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the same,
Every foot of the interior swarms with the same.
To me the sea is a continual miracle,
The fishes that swim–the rocks–the motion of the waves–the ships with men in them,
What stranger miracles are there?
I was thinking about breathing.
A while back, we’d read through that respiratory chapter in the anatomy book, and I lay in bed, paying attention to my breathing the way I sometimes do with my children while they sleep.
When we sleep, our breathing slows, and so does the pumping of our hearts. Yet it keeps on pumping and we keep on breathing all night long, every time we go to sleep.
We don’t do anything to help. We don’t control any part of it at all.
It’s rest. It’s life. It’s breath. It’s out of our hands.
It’s a continual miracle.
And so are the people walking around this house.
So are the people I’m so fortunate to know, and the people I encounter while running errands, and the ones I go to church with and the ones who live on my street.
They’re all miracles. Every one, so beautifully distinct.
Do you ever look at the people in your life and realize they are miracles?
Miracles surround us, and they happen within us, day after day after day.
It’s no wonder Whitman claims that he knows of nothing else but miracles.
I think it’s important to stop for a bit and remember.
Write about something commonplace, which is also a miracle.