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I woke up this morning with song lyrics running through my body/mind and found them as well in the lectionary readings for today from chapter 2 of the Book of Genesis and Psalm 104. The Scriptures say, “The Lord God blew into [our] nostrils the breath of life and so [we] became living being[s].” And then: “if you take away their breath, they perish…” Sara Thomsen is still singing to me: By breath, by blood, by body, by spirit, we are all one…

The song is likely a result of my preparation for our book club meeting today where the first of two chapters for our consideration is entitled “Breath: The Gateway to the Body.” The Scripture readings just add serendipity to the theme. Or is there more to be said?

In the book, Wisdom of the Body by Christine Valters Paintner, chapter two spends itself on all sorts of reasons to pay attention to our breath. One paragraph that I find quite beautiful and worth this day in reflection is from page 34. It is my gift to you and God’s gift to us all for today.

Pause just a moment before reading further to notice your breath without trying to change it. Track your breathing for a few moments, bringing a sense of wonder to this primal rhythm that sustains your life even when you aren’t paying attention, such as while you are sleeping, eating, or in deep conversation with a dear friend. The breath, like the heartbeat, is the ancient rhythm and pulse of life. The breath is like an old and loyal friend with whom you are becoming reacquainted.