Dance the Sacred Dance…

 In Reflections

“I sometimes forget that I was created for Joy. My mind is too busy. My heart is too heavy for me to remember that I have been called to dance the Sacred dance of life.” —Hafiz

As we move into the heart (and often heat) of summer, Rev. Nancy McCranie offers an invitation to remember what joy is, to pause to open ourselves to more of it, and to let it fuel our sacred dance. Enjoy!

Created for Joy…

I sometimes forget that I was created for Joy.
My mind is too busy.
My heart is too heavy
for me to remember
that I have been
called to dance
the Sacred dance of life.
I was created to smile
to love
to be lifted up
and to lift others up.
O’ Sacred One
untangle my feet
from all that ensnares.
Free my soul
that we might
and that our dancing
might be contagious.


Some people equate joy and happiness. It seems to me, however, that they are distinct from one another. In my experience, happiness is usually connected to something external: a good night’s sleep, a delicious meal, quality time spent with those I love, a beautiful sunset, or a wonderful vacation.

Joy, on the other hand, seems to arise from deep within and often when least expected.  Joy is not necessarily dependent on anything happening outside of us and can appear as quietly and suddenly as a shooting star streaking across an inky night sky. It’s as if joy is part of our DNA, something we can’t control or manufacture, but which is intrinsically part of who we are.

As the years go by and life’s responsibilities, worries, grief, and disappointments pile up, we can forget that this birthright is available to us at any moment if only we would pause and open ourselves to its arising.  In the words of philosopher and author, Martin Buber, The beating heart of the universe is holy joy.

During these long days of summer when we so easily focus on surviving the Texas heat, navigating stressful traffic, managing our to-do list, may we remember to still ourselves, take a deep breath and open ourselves to joy.  Notice if you sense a shift within yourself as you do this.  When joy appears, savor its arrival, and perhaps share your joy with someone else.  

Rev. Nancy McCranie has served as the Director of Volunteer and Bereavement Services for Hospice Austin since 2009. Also, an ordained minister with the Presbyterian Church (USA), Nancy holds a M.Div. degree from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

10,000 Truths

“There are joys which long to be ours. God sends 10,000 truths, which come about us like birds seeking inlet; but if we are shut up to them they bring us nothing, but sit and sing awhile upon the roof, and then fly away.”

―Henry Ward Beecher

Giving with Joy

“There are those who give with joy and that joy is their reward.”

―Khalil Gibran

Eagle Poem

(After Joy Harjo)

To pray, to write,

I unfold my wings,

allow a soaring within, without,

and a landing,

a perching

on the most tender

landscape of the heart.


Like a child swinging,

opening myself

to that great arc of energy,


And coming home again

to the ground below my feet,

exhausted, buoyant,

blown free and clean

by a wind of my own making.


—Yours Truly! Cathey Capers


Note: Bill Jeffers also recommended a poem by Ross Gay (coming to Eremos via Zoom in November); however, it was a bit too long for the newsletter. You can read Poem To My Child, If Ever You Shall Be Here (link takes you to

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