the most subtle miracles . . .


the most subtle miracles happen all the time and, duh, are mostly those we aren’t noticing.

take for instance that we can see a cup and without actively thinking about telling our muscles to reach for it, we have it in our hands. how’d it get there? well, we could dissect the millions of actions it took at light speed in our brains and synaptic firings and intricate wirings in our nervous system and musculature and sensory information in our fingertips to make it happen (and still NOT drop it)….

but we’d be here all day.

and then, oh! what to put in that cup? there’s another miracle: tea? milk? coffee? hot cocoa? dirt for a plant? water for a flower? water for you? soup mix? SOUP MIX? who thought of taking coffee beans, grinding them up and putting them with HOT water? who did that? or the people in asia who discovered that tea wouldn’t kill humans? so don’t even get me started on soup mix.  

how about the action of reading? recognizing the letters, stringing them together, spacing them just enough and then remembering what they mean. what about writing? taking that so-called passive activity of reading and making it active. taking what’s IN OUR HEADS and putting it on paper – as “mundane” as a shopping list or as fantastic as a wonderful book or speech. it’s up to us. we are the creators or our own little miracles on earth.  we are miracles.

how ’bout this — what about when we look up, outside, around, above, below? and if we think purely a cellular level about the fact that we are seeing something… the pupils react precisely, the image is inverted and reversed and refracted and then fixed by the brain to align with the properties of gravity, so that we can make sense of what we’re seeing… the colors we see can be communicated to others in the same way they see them; the shape of things… the sound of the leaves that crackle beneath our feet (feet! oh God, don’t let’s go there, feet are incredible). the feeling of the brush of wind against our cheeks (due to the peach fuzz attached to nerves) and then of course the fact that there is wind at all; and the feeling of warmth on our skin from the sun…. all these are things we take for granted: miracles. every single one of them. so when we think about them, in this very granular way, we realize there is so much more.

paper bags. paper. i mean, c’mon… tree pulp and water? brilliant!

then the things we aren’t expecting? those gifts from Heaven? it’s truly humbling. like that we wake every day. that we breathe. that our wounds heal; that a broken heart can mend; that a smile can change a life; that a hug can change the world.

miracles are everywhere. it’s another miracle, i think, when we realize we’re surrounded by them. so do, do love all miracles — from finding a cure for diabetes to finding a penny — and watch what happens… suddenly you’re lighter in your stride, puffier in your chest and brighter in your eyes: you love yourself. and as my obstetrician said when we heard Thing 1’s heartbeat for the first time: “that’s God.”

thank you.

About Grass Oil by Molly Field

follow me on twitter @mollyfieldtweet. i'm working on a memoir and i've written two books thus unpublished because i'm a scaredy cat. i hail from a Eugene O'Neill play and an Augusten Burroughs novel but i'm a married, sober straight mom. i write about parenting, mindfulness, irony, personal growth and other mysteries vividly with a bit of humor. "Grass Oil" comes from my son's description of dinner i made one night. the content of the blog is random, simple, funny and clever. stop by, it would be nice to get to know you. :)

9 responses »

  1. I think upon the realization of all that you wrote and specially the realization on the last sentence, is where regret and remorse and unforgiveness don’t want to let up or I choose not to forgive myself for having aborted three things, with perhaps three future heartbeats…so I better keep asking for Grace that in not forgiving myself, I don’t
    punish innocent people. If I only knew then, what I know now…if only
    Thank you

    • T, i believe deeply that the biblical Hell which supposedly awaits us is the sadness and self-loathing and shame we place on ourselves in THIS lifetime. to me, life is about “living” that that means “triumphs” we can’t believe we achieve and epic “failures” we feel we deserve.

      if we give ourselves the gift of seeing that all we are, that every moment of doubt creates grace; every second of shame creates redemption, we will begin to understand that in order for all these “bad” things to keep “going” we need to be doing something pretty good / correct along the way… we are granted these moments of reflection NOT to piss on ourselves, but to see how much better living we can GIVE to ourselves.

      your heart is so full; i can feel it from here. i can sense your shallow breaths and your furrowed brow.

      take a moment and sit still. read this first and then do it.

      sit comfortably.
      root your hips into wherever you are.
      reach through the crown of your head to the sky.
      take a long, comfortable breath in counting backwards from 5 to 1 as you fill up.
      hold for one second.
      release that breath evenly, as you took it in (5 -> 1).
      hold when empty for a second or two.
      repeat and extend the exhale by ONE count (6 -> 1; 7 -> 1 all the way to 10) ONLY if it does not create anxiety. if it creates anxiety, return to your normal breath and just be.

      notice the subtle weight of jewelry on your skin.
      notice the sensation of clothes on your skin.
      notice the sounds around you.
      notice the texture of your breath.
      release the jaw.
      release the eyebrows.

      let go.

      you are alive.

      someOne brought us together. believe that i know how you feel and that when I say, “it’s ok” it’s true.


      • you have to be the vehicle of acceptance of me for me.. the truth that will set me free from the shackles of shame…how generous! how loving! how you touched on my breathing and how you can hear it shallow, is unbelieveable to me! At the beggining of the last nine years from hell (since 2005) I “developed” adult onset ASTHMA! where syntethic fragrances chocke me, I developed ALLERGIES! and on and on and (before that, not even an aspirin I took, I guess I had a good ride) …well after having read some of Dr. Sarno’s material; where, the connection is for me , soon will be revealed ( I hope). I as a pure ACOA don’t take anything face value and trust is almost nonexistent, so you will understand when I tell you that the following not only sounded true to me but I felt it in the synapses of my brain, you wrote: “someOne brought us together. believe that i know how you feel and that when I say, “it’s ok” it’s true.”
        to know that even after revealing to you that I had three abortions and that I am a lousy mother at times and you still keep extending your “experience, strength and hope” to me, blows me away and makes me think, maybe I am possible (the real me, not the ego me)
        As Marianne Williamson wrote in ” A return to love” “we are not punish for our sins, but BY them”
        I have had communications with hundreds of people throughout the years: spiritual advisors, fellow travelers, pshychologists, people in meetings , writers, poets, etc, and you are the one who have and is making me feel the most listened to, heard, understood, SEEN. Lots of people understand some of me, but with you I feel, you got me in two sentences! how is that possible!? I have clamored in my head for years to meet someone to whom I did not get lost in translation and you are it!
        Holly Shit!


      • T, thanks so much for trusting me. Do you see the that trust you extend to me is also the trust you can extend to yourself? That your pain is over when you say it is? That your “sins” and misdeeds and the penalty they incur can be lightened when you say they are? I “know” you because I have been you. I don’t share the same stories, but I share shame, guilt, and sadness and an ineffable sense of responsibility for EVERYTHING around me; watch out for that sense of “responsibility” for to me, it’s narcissism thinly veiled. A reverse and perverse sense of narcissism that we are the gate keepers of our mothers, our fathers, our environments and even our children. we ARE responsible for their well-being and their health, but where do you draw the line for yourself: you are the vessel for their existence, but not their “mother” in the sense that they are “yours”? it’s crafty and insidious, this guilt and responsibility stuff. look out for it.

        when i went to that Tara Brach retreat, i was liberated. it’s not the first and it’s not the last, but i truly felt OK with and grateful for my story. I said out loud, “I love my story” because all of it has gotten me to here. All of it has gotten me THROUGH the ups and the downs and the deep, craggy, jagged, rocky, wet and cold places in my psyche. EVENTS happened to and around me. my FEELINGS were the hold on me. my FEELINGS kept me there.

        i wrote another post (you poor thing, you’ll be sick of me yet!) called “Wahe Guru” and it might better explain where I’m coming from. Do you practice yoga? Forgive me if you’ve said so.

        The turning point for all of this for me was when I could see not only my parents and my children as human, but MYSELF as well, and that we are all here on this planet for a very specific purpose: to teach each other and to live as best we can. the continual grief you wear on yourself is a choice, as entrenched as it is, and when you are ready to hang it up on the coat tree, the coat tree will be there.

        I think of that sad scene in “Shawshank Redemption” when Brooks hanged himself because he couldn’t function in the outside world because he’d been so accustomed to his incarceration.

        What if our guilt and shame is like that incarceration? What if we let it go and hung it up? What would our life be like without it? How RAW would we feel? This was my fear. I had a “friend” who shared only her sadnesses with me. It was those sadnesses which were our glue, but all along inside me i had this voice that said to me, “what will you do with her when you become healthy and you DECIDE to hang up your coat of rage and shame and guilt and fear? What will become of your duo then?” and my heart sank. I knew, I would lose that friend. That person who needed me to stay in the dark place so she could nurse her rage. But my sentence was coming to an end; my time was nearing and I could feel it like a barometric shift and there was nothing i could do. she felt it too. just as I was shifting, she hit me up with a personal story, SO grievous, SO deep, SO shameful that there was only one good outcome: i align and stay and sink with her or i unhook and liberate. i had to choose myself.

        think about your thoughts, don’t believe everything you think, T.

        i am so humbled by your kindnesses and trust in me. i want you to remember: YOU are your own vessel; i might just be a light showing the way out. if you see the light i’m shining, all you need to do is drive yourself out.

        nothing is lost in translation. i get it all. it’s like shorthand to me.

        be well and pack up your stuff: if you’re ready to leave your hell, bring only what you want on the outside.



      • out of the ball park again Molly! I read it and yeap! I’m in that writting also. Brought to mind John Bradshaw’s “Healing the shame that binds you” the toxic shame that adult children wear…if you haven’t read it, in terms of shame and guilt, it ups the ante from Brene Brown’s book…and I love her, but Bradshaw hits the nail in the head…again, thank you, thank you,thank you!


  2. Funny how you mentioned “the Shawshank Redemption” you don’t cease to excite me in the sense that I am you when you were in your darkest, sickest and most lost to yourself. The shawshank redemption gave me a message during my suicidal ideation days and thank you for reminding me “Get busy living or get busy dying” obviously nine years into this emotional earthquake, I have chosen to get busy living, but the enemy is inside and it wants me dead. Hopefully, I’ll choose quickly to relinquish whatever gains I’m getting by staying stuck. I had to move away from an ACOA acquaintance who for fours years have done nothing but bitch and wine her narcissistic, martyr, victim story and no sight of slowing down. Much like you had to move away from your friend I had to move away from her and maybe you will have to do the same from me. The trick with this journey is that I don’t see it until I see it and when that happens seems to be out of my control. Honestly, I don’t know what it is I am holding on (familiar patterns perhaps?) Anyway, before our communication comes to a halt if it ever does, I want to share with you that back in 2012 or 2007, I (who’s handwritting is atrocious, loves to read and hates to write) woke up one Sunday morning and my hands took a pen and a pad and wrote two poems, no concious thougt involved (my hand just wrote) I never wrote a thing before or after)so no fucking clue what that means…TWO POEMS! which I still read today and don’t recognize. I have been teased (in a bening way all my life, because when I speak, I rhyme) again with no conscious intention…something tells me that means something but I seem to be lost to myself. If you quit on me, I get it. You have to pursue your growth and freedom…hopefully I will get there when I get there. People like you and others tell me it is as simple as a “decision” (coincidentially the title of one of the poems) but it just doesn’t seem that simple, not when the hormonal influx is kicking my ass.
    To answer your question: do I do yoga? I am a dancer, the soul of a dancer anyway, I got fat, I got achy, I stopped expressing through movement and the Yoga that I do is shaky and laughable and my energy, while coming back it is still a letrine level, so body movement through ballet, yoga ,pilates ,jazz and 80’s music kept me balanced for 39 years of my life. So I do yoga when I remember and I don’t do yoga when the anxiety gets so hight I want to rip the mat to shreds
    Thank you for letting me share

    • I apologize for being glib. “Simple decision” it is not, always. Hormones are vigorous and strong; they are everything inside us that keep us going. So I know what you mean when you talk about the hormonal aspect and being at their whim.

      What I should have elaborated on is that while we are prisoners to “hormonal” power, we are also keenly aware that it’s coming. I know that ONCE I recognized what was happening; once I could put a pattern on it, I knew what I was up against. A beast? Yes. But we can do this… right? We have survived it.

      Brooks is always a pivot point for me. For some reason that lesson comes to me to remind me that life changes constantly and that we can either get dashed upon the rocks of our own emotional coast or we can do what we can to go out to deeper water, to wait it out, as best we can even though it’s still quite vigorous out there too.

      Your poetry sounds cool and it would be great of you to share it? I’m still looking for my “be careful” comment… I’ll have to re-tread… 🙂

      I just found it — i’m reply there now. 🙂

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