God’s Porch

If you just lost everything in a fire
If the floods have taken it all away
If the diagnosis is worse
than anything you imagined
If the pain just won’t let up

If you are afraid for the life
of your grown-up child
If you can’t keep a baby growing
If your failing parent is far far away
And you can’t afford to travel

If you spend every day in the car outside
the worksite of your toddler’s father
singing to the baby and praying each moment
that ICE won’t come today

If you are hiding in the hills with no place to go
because the trailers for the workers
burned down

If you can’t go outside
without some jerk shouting comments
about every aspect of your body

If you fear for your life
when you see a police car
If you fear for the life of your son

If you worry every day
about what kind of world
this is for raising your children
If you’re scared of the man
with his hand on the button
If you’re afraid of what’s happening
to your marriage

Come to my house.

Come sit on the porch a while.

Look up at the trees. Listen to the quiet.
Allow peace to enter your heart.
A dragonfly darts to and fro above the yard
and butterflies silently flutter.
Hummingbirds drink from the feeders
and bees work in the clover.

There are wind chimes of metal
and one of bamboo
and they sway
sometimes sounding
in the breeze.

Come sit on the porch,
or lie down if you prefer.
We have many different kinds of chairs.
Breathe in the sweet air.
Gaze up into blue sky.
See the bright colors of the zinnias.

I will bring you something
delicious to drink
and if it is cool I will tuck you in
with a blanket

You can lie back and rest and relax
And just leave it all to me.

My love will wrap around you
and you will know you are safe
and nothing will ever hurt you

Come sit on the porch a while.
Come on up and rest.

I am here waiting
for you.

Fever Rising

Spirit of Life, Source of all Love:

Our planet has a fever.
Giant storms bring floods
that inundate whole countries.
Smoke rises from the ruins
of thousands of miles of forests.
Incalculable numbers of beings
suffer much worse things
than death.

How do we bear it?

How do we bear it,
knowing that it will get worse
before it gets better
and it may never get better
at all?

Help us allow ourselves to grieve.
Help us know that our grief
arises from our love
which arises from our interdependence
with all life on Earth.

If we can allow ourselves to grieve—
if we can sob and wail
and stomp our feet;
if we can release the tears
that clog our throats—
we can recover our voices.
We can come back to life.
We can act from our love
on behalf of all life.

Spirit of Life, power of greening:
nothing is stronger than You are,
You rise in the trees,
You swim in the waters,
You fly in the air,
You crawl on the earth.
You move in our hearts as Love:
Love that is stronger than death.

In our hour of need, we pray:
Rise in us and overflow
as the tears that express our love
and clear the way for you to move
as the wisdom we need
to know how to act
and the strength we need
to do it.

Rise in us, O Spirit of Life,
and help us make all things new.

Amen.  Ashe.  All our relations. Blessed be.

The Waters Are Moving

For Emma Gonzalez

Yesterday morning it was so cold
that a little waterfall along my walk
had frozen over.

It was lovely gleaming there
all silvery in the sunlight.

But then I noticed that
under the frozen surface
the waters were moving.

Soon they would wear through the surface
they would flow even more freely
and then the whole thing would go.

I thought of stories I had heard
of the last ice age
and the release of Lake Missoula:

Many thousands of years ago
in what is now Montana
there was a giant ice dam.

It held back more fresh water
than has ever been gathered
anywhere in our world.

Under the dam’s surface
waters were moving
and periodically,
the dam would melt.

The water spilled out
in floods so colossal
they transformed the landscape
all the way to the ocean.

Under the surface
the waters are moving

And then I thought
of the last stage of pregnancy
and how it feels like the discomfort
will never end.

But then the waters break
and everything changes:
new life is ushered in
on a flood.

Under the surface
the waters are moving

And then I thought of now
and how everything has seemed frozen
in the very same shape
for so long.

But under the surface
the waters are moving
and the children are coming loose:

the children are coming loose
and the women are coming loose
and the whole thing could go
at any moment.

Under the surface
the waters are moving
it’s time to transform the landscape
it’s time to bring a new world
to birth.

Answer Yes

The waters are rising
Elders sitting in wheelchairs neck deep in water
And our own home-grown Himmler
And our most gifted two-spirit people
Kicked out.
The forces of evil are abroad in our land.

How did this happen?

Meanwhile in San Francisco
Clowns and artists and doctors and teachers
Transpeople and cis and gay and straight people
Parents and children and friends and relations
And the forces of evil departed from there.

How did this happen?

You know.  You know what to do now.
Listen with all your being.
Then when Life calls to you
Answer YES

and start moving.

A Break in the Clouds

For weeks the rain has been falling
and the wind has been blowing
and everything has been coming apart.

We humans think we’re so smart:
we build roads along steep canyons,
houses in floodplains,
levees to hold rivers in place.

Then comes a winter like this one
and it





But yesterday, there were:

a break in the clouds
a frog outside the window
and buds on the dogwood on the slope.

When Great Storms Come

Spirit of Life, source of all change:

Heavy rain has been falling for many weeks now
and great winds have been blowing.
Roots can’t hold in the saturated ground,
and giant trees are falling,
crushing houses, cars, and power lines.
Streams and rivers are flooding,
roads and bridges collapsing,
dams and levees failing.

It feels like the end of the world.

Spirit of Life,
when great storms come
and break apart everything we know,
and we are more afraid than we have ever been,
help us remember to breathe:
to feel the good oxygen enter our lungs
and the carbon dioxide exit.

Breathing in, we breathe in love.
Breathing out, we release our fear.
Breathing in, we breathe in love.
Breathing out, we release our fear.

Help us remember that whatever happens
You are always with us,
always within us and all around us.
You are the love that will not let us go:
the love that will not let us go.

Blessed be.

Photo by Carol White