Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Beautiful Stories

And here is the serpent again,
dragging himself out from his nest of darkness,
his cave under the black rocks,
his winter-death.

He slides over the pine needles.
He loops around the bunches of rising grass,
looking for the sun.
Well, who doesn’t want the sun after the long winter?

I step aside, he feels the air with his soft tongue,
around the bones of his body he moves like oil,
downhill he goes
toward the black mirrors of the pond.

Last night it was still so cold
I woke and went out to stand in the yard,
and there was no moon.
So I just stood there, inside the jaw of nothing.

An owl cried in the distance,
I thought of Jesus, how he
crouched in the dark for two nights,
then floated back above the horizon.

There are so many stories
more beautiful than answers.
I follow the snake down to the pond,

thick and musky he is
as circular as hope.

Well, I realized that I should probably be keeping track of time and noticed that, lo and behold, it is April. It's National Poetry Month! So, if you're here, you've already read Mary Oliver's poem, Spring, above. Isn't it just perfect, totally fitting, for right now? It would be perfectly fitting in a "normal" year, but especially during these days.

The imagery Mary Oliver paints resonates as we keep "looking for the sun" in the stories of kindness and compassion we hear, in the generous hearts of people reaching out to those with greater needs. And of course, near the end, those ending lines, "...so many stories more beautiful than answers." We must lean into those stories of hope. 

At our Emmaus Soup Kitchen, people's generosity is on full display with anonymous donations, extra masks delivered, and Easter offerings. Here at the Mount, a group has been sewing masks for a number of days now, and they were able to contribute a handful to the soup kitchen today. 

And another sign of hope these days? A just-beginning-to-bloom daffodil.

Let us walk in the holy presence.

The Patterns of Life

“How often in this busy, complicated, overcrowded, difficult world do I make the time to sit and listen to its changing rhythms?” Of course ...