Prayer, I like to think, is another word for communication, but communication that is sacred, intentional, borne of truth and love. Prayer, then, can look like gratitude, questions, wonder, request, lament, and hope.

Sometimes, it can simply look like acknowledgement: I noticed. To really see people, so we know them and then love them. To really listen to others. To tend to life. We have to be paying attention, even when it hurts. It is sacred work. The beauty in refining attention to life is that it grants us, over time, a way of seeing differently. There is always light stitched within the darkness. Hope stitched within fear. Gratitude stitched within heartbreak. Knowing stitched within uncertainty. If we notice the beauty, we witness it. We honor it.

In Siena, Italy, this week, neighbors opened their windows and sang in harmony together. Their voices washed over me like holy water. As the author Glennon Doyle reminds us, being human is brutal, being human is beautiful – “brutiful” – all the time.

Humans create terrible things, humans create masterpieces. Humans succumb, humans overcome. Humans despair, and humans hope – often in the same breath. Noticing the light sustains us, as we hold the weight of being human together.