Please Call Me by My True Names

Thich Nat Hanh

Do not say I depart tomorrow,
for even today I am still arriving.

Look deeply: I arrive in every moment,
to be a bud on a spring branch,
to be a tiny bird with still fragile wings,
learning to sing in my new nest,
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower,
to be jewel hiding itself in a stone.

I still arrive in order to laugh and to cry
in order to fear and to hope.

The rhythm of my heart is the birth and
death of all that are alive.

I am the mayfly metamorphosing
on the surface of a river,
and I am the bird that swoops down to swallow the mayfly.

I am the frog swimming happily in the clear water of the pond.
And I am also the grass snake that silently feeds itself on the frog …

My joy is like spring so warm it makes
flowers bloom in all walks of life.
My pain like a river of tears, so full it
fills up the four oceans.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can hear all my cries and my laughs at once,
So that I can see that my joy and my pain are one.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can wake up,
so that the doors of my heart can be left open,
the doors of compassion.