In a conversation with a visitor from Europe, I became intrigued by the subtle differences in our choice of words. In our often harried state, we lean toward "action" words. Doing is being, or so we drive ourselves to believe. In our discussion, we were embracing the day, though lamenting the beginning of school and all the additional structure for our children and ourselves. I waxed poetic about the weather and the importance of staying barefoot as long as possible. Then I began to whine about the chores we associate with our lives, those things we need to "do". We need to clean the house, pay the bills, weed the gardens, mow the lawn. We have to help with homework, fill out forms, drag our kids out of bed in time for them to tumble out to the bus. Her turn, the woman smiled and stated simply, "well, yes, I suppose there are all those things to tend to." With her use of that one word, my thinking shifted entirely. To tend, defined as "to pay attention, apply oneself to", or "to apply oneself to the care of, watch over" implies a bit of nurture. If we tend to our homes, our bills, our lawns, are we not caring for them and being with them rather than just getting through the work we need to do? If we tend our jobs, our vocations, are we injecting a little more love into them? If we tend our children, our relationships, our marriages, are we perhaps putting just a hair more effort into them? If we tend to our health, rather than "fight disease", do we feel better? I am going to play with that slight shift in thinking. There is something sacred here that bears noticing. There is an appreciation, an abiding respect, a knowing that comes with tending something. I'm willing to bet there is peace and stillness in the shift.