Rage and Love and Songs of Praise

Great Spirit of Life,

I confess that in these past weeks I have been angry.
No, not angry. ENRAGED.
Like a dragon with a belly full of flame
I long to torch everything filthy and grotesque
with my breath.
I would take one vast breath in
and then roar with all my might
and the structures of evil
would become
nothing but cinders
and ash.

The problem with fire
is that it burns everything
indiscriminately.
Once you let it loose,
you have no more say
in what stays
and what goes.

So it might be better
To take as my model
the California buckeye.
Never was there a plant
more lovely
or more perfectly adapted
to a harsh reality.

In early spring it is the first to show new leaves
holding candelabra of green flames
up to the light.
Then in June
it explodes into long showy spikes
of fragrant creamy flowers
rivaling any you might see
in the tropics.
Bees and butterflies
and all manner of pollinators
hover among the flowers
singing praises with their wings.

Then when the season grows dry
the leaves begin to wither
and by August they are brown
and dropping off the branches
and people think the trees
are dying.

But in fact they are merely conserving water.
In fact they are making secret plans
for regenerating.

If, in late summer,  you look up at a hillside
on which there are buckeyes
all you can see is dead branches.
Not until October do you see
the giant seeds
hanging down from long stems
in green cases,
sometimes in pairs
that prompt some people to snicker.

In November
the cases split,
and vast numbers of shiny dark globes
fall onto the ground
and the minute the first rain comes
each sends a white root poking down
into the soil.
Many more fall than actually grow
into new trees.

Yes, I think the California buckeye
is a good model.

Enjoy the times of plenty
but when things get hard and dry
and it seems that life is impossible
drop everything unnecessary
and focus on regeneration.
Make secret plans
for doing what is needed
to birth the next world.
Plant seeds profligately.

Then when things get better,
have a big party.
Wear your fanciest clothes
and invite all beings in close
for love, and songs of praise.

Blessed be.

Prayer for Hope and Dread

Spirit of life, you who body forth
as this starry universe
and our shimmering blue-green planet:

Now at last the sun has come out
and the sky is a glorious clear blue
and the oak leaves
are such a tender new green
that it seems all the world
is poised in hope!

Fresh north winds blow
and the pines sing
and the hummingbirds
return to the feeders.

And yet the news each day
is filled with such terrible things
that dread rises like a tide in our hearts.
Some of us can’t help but wonder
how long this world can last.

Spirit of life, immense ocean of love,
help us give ourselves over to you.
Help us know that in all of our
fear and anger and grief,
we are held.
In all of our amazement and joy and wonder,
we are held.
In all of the changes that are coming our way,
we are ever safely held
in love.

Blessed be.