An Elemental Blessing

May your kindness abound like hydrogen,
Which fuels every star
And is the most plentiful element in the universe.

Earthrise as seen from the moon's surface


Earthrise from Apollo 16 on April 20, 1972

May your generosity refresh like oxygen,
Which burns in every candle flame, falls in every raindrop,
And is exhaled in the great, slow sigh of every forest.

May your love endure like bismuth,
Which could radiate energy for 20 billion billion years
And only be half-depleted,
But whose iridescent crystals are safe enough to hold.

And may your strength persist like carbon,
Which has enabled all life our solar system knows,
Has known, or will ever know—
From diplodocuses to dandelions;
From blue–green algae to blue whales;
And from the katydids that cling to branches and chirrup through the night,
To the kale that clings to life aboard the International Space Station
And hurtles through the silent, endless night of outer space.