An Excerpt from Being Home: Discovering the Spiritual in the Everyday by Gunilla Norris

In her lovely book about discovering spirituality in everyday life, Gunilla Norris enables us to relish the significance and messages in even menial tasks. Here is a glimpse of how she turns a simple activity into a practice of gratitude.

“Paying Bills”

“Here are the bills again.
I always dread them a little.
They are familiar presences:
first in the mail box, then in the bill drawer,
now on the desk. Services Rendered.
My life is dependent on services rendered.

“Somehow I am glad to pay Richard
for the plowing, Chic for the plumbing,
Walter for fixing the roof. I know them.
They make my life possible.
It is harder to pay the faceless ones
— the ones behind these white envelopes.
Here are the lives behind the heat,
the light, the telephone
— behind the counters and computers.
I want to learn to feel a friendliness toward them.
I want to acknowledge them.

“When I write my checks I want to feel
that I am returning energy in the form of money
for energy given in the form of service.
It is all Your energy. We are only each other’s way
to share in that great service which is Your life
poured out continually for us all without exception.

“Guard me against the arrogance of privilege,
against the indulgence of feeling
that I don’t have enough, and the poverty of spirit
that refuses to acknowledge what is
daily given me. Keep me truthful in knowing
where I spend, where my values actually are.

“Let me not skip this monthly knowing.
Instruct me in judicious spending
and in gratitude with no holds barred.
I want always to give thanks and acknowledgment
to the ones I know who help my life
and to the faceless ones whom I will never know.”