How Lucky Is the Soul That Mends the Heart

Something about Valentine’s Day brings out the poet in me. Or rather inspires me to read poetry by those who write it, which I don’t. Okay maybe the occasional naughty limerick, but we are not going there.

Willow Hearts, Santa Ynez Valley Botanic Garden
Willow Hearts, made in the Santa Ynez Valley Botanic Garden wreath workshop held last week. Photo by landscape designer and SYVBG trustee Puck Erickson. The hearts are held aloft by resident wreath wizard Eva Powers.

Instead I offer you a verse by Hafiz, the 14th century Persian mystic and poet, in praise of the heart–even when–especially when–it may be broken.

Don’t look down on the Heart
Even if it is not behaving well,
Even in that shape,
the heart is more precious
than the teachings of exulted sultans
The broken heart is where God looks
How lucky is the soul that mends the heart!
For God, consoling the heart
that is broken into hundreds of pieces
is better than going on a pilgrimage.
God’s treasures are buried in ruined hearts.

And of love’s labors, two announcements:

1. The fledgling Santa Ynez Valley Botanic Garden, where the willow wreaths above were made, is growing more wonderful by the day. You can follow the Santa Ynez Valley Botanic Garden on Facebook , and

2. The baby we’ve been waiting for–the one I wrote about yesterday who was taking so long we feared he might go straight from hospital to third grade–arrived early this morning, and our hearts are just about to bust. He and his mama are doing fine, and he begins third grade tomorrow.



  1. Always love Hafiz! – thanks for the beautiful poem to start the heart day and the happy news – you got me laughing this early in the day!!

  2. “God’s treasures are buried in ruined hearts!! ” Wow!! Thank you for sharing that wonderful poem and congratulations to the new parents. A Valentine Baby- How sweet. Hope yours is special!

  3. Gods treasures are buried in ruined hearts…wow, talk about Grace…too bad their owners do not always see that. Happy Valentines Day…especially to WE (Walter Eugene) Brie & Wyatt!!! Aloha

  4. Walter must have wanted a “big” day for his birthday – and a reminder that his life came from love (which is true of all of us, essentially arising from the love of God)…

  5. Loved the poem, especially the line about “God’s treasures” that is quite beautiful. And, yay! A Valentine baby! Lots and lots of good wishes going out to the family, what a lovely Valentine’s Day present, a baby!

  6. Dearest Frannie, thank you for sharing a verse from this beautiful poem!
    And about this Valentine baby~~Liza and I would love to send a gift to the newest and long awaited arrival at Rancho La Zaca.
    hmmm, what size to buy? A 6 month or 6 year???

    Sending lots of love!

  7. I am so happy that you dropped out of heaven and into our lives. Through your loving eyes we see things that are so important and meaningful that we might have missed. You are such a promoter of people and the special things they do. Please tell Your Grace that he blessed us all when he brought you into our lives.
    Big hug,

    1. Oh Nancy, my goodness, you have made me cry. Thank you. I feel the same about you and your wonderful family. Love, Frances

    2. A very very Happy & Healthy New Year and 2010 to you and your family, Mary. It has been such a huge plesuare getting to know you and reading your blog!

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