Help Us Rise Up

Spirit of Life, Source of all change:

Now is the time when rain follows sun follows rain
wildflowers carpet the grassy meadows
and new leaves of oaks and maples
are tender and lush on the hillsides.

In the river canyons
turkey vultures and hawks
soar high on updrafts
floating past green upon green upon green.

How is it possible that in a world so beautiful,
anyone would choose to harm another soul?
And yet that is the choice we have made.
That is the choice we have allowed.

Help us make a different choice.

Spirit of Life, we struggle with your call
to choose life.
We struggle to preserve and protect
all that is good and beautiful.
We are mired in circumstances
not of our choosing,
and for some of us it takes all we have
just to get through another day.

But we can be stronger than that.
We can be bigger.

Help us know that we can rise up.

Just as the oak tree feels You
rising up through its trunk
and pushing tender new leaves
out into the clear blue sky

Just as the caterpillar feels You
rearranging its molecules
and making from a soupy mess
a gorgeous butterfly

Just as the salmon feels You calling it upstream
the goose feels You calling it home
and the fern feels You uncurling its spiral

If we will open ourselves wide enough
we too will feel Your love and Your call
and we too will rise up
and we will be beautiful and strong
and we will no longer allow harm to be done
in our names.

Spirit of Life, help us rise up.

Let Us Take It Back

At my house
the wind whispers in the pines
rustles through the oaks and cedars
and sets the chimes gently ringing.

A zebra swallowtail floats over raspberry plants.

A blue and black striped dragonfly
darts above the clover
where a thousand bees hum.

A pale blue damselfly lands
on a bright orange marigold.

A tiny California newt
no bigger than my pinky finger
makes its slow little way
among the stones.

A million insects whiz by
in a million different directions
hummingbirds sip from the feeders
and ravens fly overhead
their wings iridescent in the sun.

Frogs and crickets sing their longing for mates
lizards and squirrels madly chase their own kind
hawks shriek and jays argue;
all is green, green, green
against sky of blue, blue, blue.

Down by the river
the air is full of the fragrance of
California buckeye blossoms
and spice bush flowers
and a billion billion green leaves
each a different shape and size
each a factory, photosynthesizing
each one growing toward the light.

The songs of robins, grosbeaks,
tanagers, and towhees
echo through the trees
over the sound of the river
swollen with snowmelt
roaring down the canyon
and the smaller trickle of the streams
flowing down to the river.

At the sides of the trail
green mosses ferns and grasses
are adorned with wildflowers
of every color:
larkspur and yarrow
paintbrush and monkeyflower
Ithuriel’s spear and blue-eyed grass.

This world is so beautiful
that I almost can’t stand it
but somehow I find I can
and I weep
for those who do not even see it.

I weep for their terrible loss
of which they are not aware
because their hearts are so tiny
or so burned or so poisoned or so closed
and I weep for the power we have given them
to destroy all that is sacred and beautiful.

let us take it back.
That is all we must do to save this world.
Let us take
our power