Country Road

22 Mar

I am never alone when I walk down a country road.

The soft mist of the morning settles around my shoulders like an old friend’s embrace.  Trees sing to creation as only oaks and pines can do, lifting their branches to the sky,  hoping to dance with a passing breeze.  Earth glistens in colors and textures that elude canvas or camera.  I stop to listen to no sound at all, to draw in the sweet fragrance of wet leaves, golden and red carpets spread over thick green grass.   A gentle vibration swirls in the air, as if a hand has plucked the single string of perfection.

I am blessed by all that calls to me along a country road.

Soft Spring Rains

22 Mar

Wash over me, Living Water, like soft spring rains.  Nourish my dryness.  Transform my brittleness.  Make my heart supple, my spirit malleable like moist clay on the Potter’s wheel.

May I return from the dry deserts of my own making, arid days when the dust of my striving fills my mouth and distorts my vision of life around me.

Between the dust from which I came and the dust to which I will return, may I float in the river of love that carries me to your own heart.

This day you are the still water that brings me peace.  This day you are cleansing water that washes my soul.  This day I dance like a child in the showers of your kindness.

I am made new, refreshed once again, by the taste of Living Water.

Sitting In The Morning

21 Mar

I hope today I will be wise enough to sit for awhile and take in the vibrance of life around me.

I hope that I will open my arms wide so that someone might feel welcome and sit with me in wonder.

I hope that all I see and all that goes unseen will bless me along the way.

I hope that I hear the birds sing, listen to the clouds drifting by, and feel the warmth of the sun.

I hope I will imagine.

May it be so.

In Spite Of

20 Mar

Every Sunday at my church we begin community worship with a verse from the Psalms .  It goes like this:  “This is the day the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.”  Come to think of it, that’s not a bad way to start every day.  But, as you know very well, not every day is a cartwheel-turning day.  The Lord may have made it, but something happened in the transmission.  Life happened, and on those days I want to edit the last stanza of the Psalm:  “…I will rejoice and be glad in spite of it.”  Witness the majestic sahuaro cactus whose arms are supposed to reach elegantly toward the heavens, symmetrical and consistent.  Something went wrong.  It is my monument to “in spite of”.

When things don’t go my way, may I become aware of peace in the midst of it all.

When life seems disjointed and I feel at loose ends, may I find reconnection in relationships both sacred and human.

When anxiety anchors me in darkness, may I find escape, not from but to the Presence that infuses life with hope.

In spite of everything that wants to rob me of joy, may I open the doors of my heart and find You there.

May it be so.

 

 

 

 

Toward The Summit

18 Mar

Even if gray clouds blot out the soft blue of the morning sky, may I discover peace in somber shapes and shades of darkness.

And if the stones along the pathway are jagged and treacherous, uneven and slippery, may I walk with mindful focus and curious attention as companions in the journey.

And if the path becomes too steep, the effort too great, may I be wise enough to pause, to rest, to welcome the beauty around me as a cool drink of refreshment.

Nothing, not gray billows, not sharp stones, not the effort of the climb, nothing will keep me this day from standing at the summit and raising my arms in gratitude.

Perhaps

26 Nov

Today a lovely golden butterfly spreads her wings in the warm California sun and the cooling breeze from her rising tosses the curls of a child in Bolivia.

A soft pink rose, tended by a loving heart and gentle hands, unfolds her petals in a pristine French garden bounded by hedge rows and while lattice, and the fragrance of her birth crafts a smile on the face of a wheel-chaired man in Philadelphia.

Perhaps someday we will understand.

An obscene gesture made toward a women carrying  a placard pleading for peace and the end of brutality causes the globe to wobble in its celestial circles, to quiver among the planets.

One dark word spoken in hate confirms the depths of human cruelty, breaks the ancient axis of life, spinning the ball into endless universes.  The gasps of life fade slowly.

The strength of hate is greater than we know.

We who ride the ball into the darkness undoubtedly will mistake the rush of stars past our startled faces for the intervention of a benevolent mystery whose plan unfolds from humanity’s dissolving.

As we taunt and torture each other in the name of sovereign interest and economic necessity, we loosen the bolts which we name virtues, and as they fall one by one, we feel the distant shudder, the telling tremor that speaks our names.

Perhaps someday we will understand.

 

A Pathway To Be Explored

17 Nov

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Today I ventured out into the world and came upon a pathway I had not known before.  It invited me into a gently sloping descent, over a small stream curling around large gray stones, past desert wrens singing their morning songs, and into a grove of small palo verde trees.   Beside the pathway, stark against the mountain ridge beyond, stood a rather average green limbed tree and a not too distinctive saguaro cactus.  But what caught my attention was their embrace.

I sat on a nearby flat stone and wondered at the unusual sight, the intimate proximity of cactus and tree, thorn and leaf.  “You appear puzzled,” Cactus observed.  “Yes,” I replied, “you are so different and yet here you are side by side.”

“We are different,” Palo Verde said, joining the conversation.  “I have no beautiful shape like an oak, no scarlet leaves like the maple. I do not rise into the the clouds like the sequoia.   I am rather plain in the world, but I am here.”  “And I,” added Cactus, “live in this hard, coarse skin shielded by my sharp, menacing thorns.  Sometimes I frighten people who pass by.  They keep their distance, never come close.  But I am here.”

“You seem to have made the most of your awkward situation,” I observed.  “Yes,” Tree answered, “but it wasn’t easy at first.  We both got in each other’s way as we grew from Ground, but then one day we looked at each other and realized that we spring from the same earth.  We are nourished by the same Rain, warmed by Sun who smiles upon us both.  And over time we grow stronger together.  We  discovered that we are meant to be what we are and that we can help each other in spite of our differences.”

“She’s right,” Cactus added.  “We both enjoy visits from song birds who make their nests in Tree and from Desert Wren who feels welcome to perch on my sharp thorns and chatter to the world.  Tree offers me shade in the hot summer sun and I, in turn, share my reservoir of Rain that I store inside.  We both found that we just wanted to be what we are, and that we can be, leaf to thorn, if we find more that holds us together rather than what makes us different and keeps us apart.”

“We understand each other,” Tree explained as Wind nestled her closer to Cactus.  “We have no idea why Ground put us so close together, but we are here.  We decided not to make the best of a what appeared at first to be a bad situation, but to stand together by this pathway and welcome all who wonder as the pass by.”

Today I ventured out into the world and came upon a pathway I had not known before.  It is a pathway to be explored.