Words Shape Worlds

February 28, 2023

Words Shape Worlds

By Amba Gale

What’s in a word?

Everything!  The whole world!

As I listen attentively, wholeheartedly exploring this new world of ours, letting go of my expectations and attachments along the way, my thoughts of how things “should be,” I cultivate resilience, as I discover, discern, and deepen my walking the path of “what brings me alive.”

Many of the distinctions and themes I have been “leaning into” over these years return to me and resonate with me, calling to me to be explored even more deeply: unconditional commitment, enthusiasm, wholeheartedness, generous listening, compassion, patience, simplicity, faith, integrity, courage.

A few days ago, during a brunch I had with a friend, I received a beautiful gift, a book called “Romancing the Ordinary” by Sarah Ban Breathnach.  What was extraordinary was that just two days before, I had written a poem in which I was doing just that —putting the word, “Amazing” around all the ordinary things I was present to.  What Sarah speaks about in her book is creating a commitment to be “appreciative of what is right under our nose,” “reveling” in ordinary life.

Last week, one of my friends, DW, (who, by the way, hosts my website), put two words together: “wonder” and “filled,” to make “wonder-filled.”  What a beautiful distinction!

So I began to ask myself: What is required, as a foundation, to walk through ordinary life “wonder-filled?” Filled with wonder, not only by the extraordinary, but by the every day.  By the details of our lives.  By the toothbrush and the Cottonwood branch, the coffee maker and the stove, the lamp and the herbal tea.

And, as though I was seeing it for the very first time, what showed up is PRESENCE!  Wonder is not possible without the state of Presence.  As Ram Das told us long ago, so long ago it has become a cliché: Be Here Now. Let me not confuse who I am with my automatic internal chatter.

Try it yourself. Find a word in which you revel and, being present, celebrate!



By Amba Gale

This morning,
the white cloud arrested
my attention:
bird taking flight in its sea of blue.

The wind rests gently on the water,
a light blanket of softening ripples.

Nearer to shore, a duck’s wake makes a circle.

What if I should call all this –what I am present to—
The white cloud.
The bird/cloud taking flight.
The wind resting on the water.
The duck’s wake.


Now, some electronic sounds disturb the silence.
Every thirty seconds.
I remember that joyfully, I used to
name those cloud shapes as a little girl.

Cottonwood, there, its limbs bear in winter solace,
points across the sound.

The Barcelona mug which holds my tea
atop Gaudi’s house?

The tea itself still warm
as it soothes my throat on it way down.

The candles, the owls, the butterfly girl, Durga, Buddha, Shiva, Ganesh,
even the cat lying on his back.

Amazing, all.

Does this alter your perspective?
Perhaps. It has mine.

And I walk into this day, amazement gracing my way.

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