Brighten the corner where you are

I woke up yesterday morning to find a little leak in the roof. (dripping onto the coffee table). So I lit these candles, put on some music and will make a call today. Right now, it's 4:30 am. There is nothing to do but enjoy life

I woke up early yesterday morning to find a little leak in the roof (dripping onto the coffee table). I thought about waking Jack up, but what could he do at 4:30 a.m.? So I lit these candles, put on some music, and said “thank you” to the Great Mystery for that moment of being alive.

A while back, a friend sent me a brief article entitled, Brighten the Corner Where You Are, about the life of Ina Ogdon (1872-1964). She’d wanted to travel the “Chautauqua circuit” as an evangelistic teacher/healer but abandoned those plans to stay home and care for her father who’d become ill. She wrote, Brighten The Corner Where You Are (which was made into a hymn) to encourage and demonstrate to others that we can have happy, fulfilling, lives when we make the best of where we are right now.

Do not wait until some deed of greatness you may do,
Do not wait to shed your light afar,
To the many duties ever near you now be true,
Brighten the corner where you are.


Brighten the corner where you are!
Brighten the corner where you are!
Someone far from harbor you may guide across the bar;
Brighten the corner where you are!

Just above are clouded skies that you may help to clear,
Let not narrow self your way debar;
Though into one heart alone may fall your song of cheer,
Brighten the corner where you are.


Here for all your talent you may surely find a need,
Here reflect the bright and Morning Star;
Even from your humble hand the Bread of Life may feed,
Brighten the corner where you are.


19 thoughts on “Brighten the corner where you are

  1. You just did! A powerful example that I can control my attitude and how I choose to look at situations…..lovely!

  2. I love this Mary. In a time of big disasters (Sandy, foreclosures etc.) it is such a brilliant reminder that just being kind and thoughtful where you are can make a fantastic difference. Thanks for this!

  3. Your blog really touched a cord in me today Mary and so I forwarded it onto alot of the people on my email list in hopes it would help them as it helped me this morning. I do hope thats alright that i forwarded it on to them. When I least expect it, I read something here that truly touches me and helps me have a better day!

  4. Thanks for this, Mary. Something is troubling me this morning. I need to email someone I care about and was praying for guidance and the answer to my prayer was in my thought “Let’s see what Mary has to say today”.
    And I read the first three words of this simple and powerful song, “Do not wait”.

    As I was reading the rest of the lyrics, I thought of the song from the musical, “Hair” – Easy to Be Hard: … people who care about strangers…say they care about social injustice…do you only care about the bleeding crowd…how about a needing friend…I need a friend.

    Thanks, friend, for brightening the corner where you are.

  5. Sweet, This is still sung in sabbath and sunday schools every week I learned it as a child. A good message.

  6. I liked this…..I think it will be my mantra for this month. Where I am is not where I think I want to be but I can make my life brighter by being accepting of this is where I am at this time.

  7. I also forwarded the link to your blog to two other friends this morning, Mary! It is such a beautiful message, reflecting the true meaning of the season. No matter how many lights we string on a tree, they mean nothing if our own light isn’t shining bright, just where we are. You help us all to shine a little brighter, our little ‘thousand points’ of light all over this country – just thought of us all as a strand of Christmas lights, – Mary, you’ve done it again, our generator of peace and love! Shine brightly, flock!

    • Hi Susan! I love your thought about our little ‘thousand points’ of light all over this country…and it made me think that we are like perpetual comets or shooting stars … but as we shine our light and move around we leave a light trail that never ends…starting at Mary and Jack’s WFF and sparkling all over the world! And then I imagined looking down at the earth from space and saw all the WFF lights twinkling below…cyber friends scattered far and wide…our light connecting the dots between all of us! Thanks for inspiring such a magical picture! And to you Mary, for a magical post!

  8. Just when I decided to stop commenting you posted this wonderful message. Yesterday I was out and about and as I stopped at a red light a lady crossing the street looked over at me and smiled. It was my first smile of the day – did she know how much she brightened my day – I certainly hope so. She did it with a smile, you did it with words. Thanks to all!

  9. It’s not as if I need any further ‘evidence’ of synchronicity in the world but as a perfect example: just prior to opening this blog space this morning, I needed to call a service company regarding our heating system. The voice answering the phone said “It’s a great day at (business name)— my name is Dana, how can I make you smile today!” Wow. Talk about brightening corners; imagine if EVERY interaction was prefaced by those words.
    Thanks, Mary. Hope the roof leak is minor. 🙂

  10. Yesterday was just wonderful for me and the Mr!! We’re waaayyy out of town, and we visited a rescue donkey satellite ranch in so. NV…we took carrots & apples and met the wonderful folks who devote their lives to these rescued sweeties. Of course I wandered right into the long, fuzzy-eared herd and learned about some of their heroic rescues. Ninety-two were airlifted from Hawaii where the wild herds were no longer welcome. Many from elsewhere had been abused, yet their trusting huge eyes and sweet muzzles had learned to trust again. Pictures on FB to follow when we get home. Cheers to all–remember the animals in Dec!

  11. @williamssite: I can think of nothing more I’d rather do than mingle in a herd of donkeys! Heaven! The thought of this scene has brightened my evening. Thanks. 🙂

  12. Reading this is making me smile as I’m getting ready for work. My image is of the seven dwarfs marching out the door with an ax and their distinct personalities, all singing, “Hi Ho, Hi Ho…” Think I’m Happy today.

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