If That Is Not Love

You say you have not known love…
but have you not seen the heron
landing on her stilt legs in the clear water
and did she not let you come closer than last time
before lifting her great wings and flying away?

What of the double rainbow you saw
over the ocean,
or the time the two young otters peered out at you
from underneath a rock,
making contact
on purpose?

Or the time you stood on the ground
with the brilliant sun setting on one side
and the radiant moon rising on the other
and you felt the turning of the earth?

And what of that bright orange
that you peeled to find
sections as if made for your hands
and each full of sweet tart juice
that ran everywhere
when you put it in your mouth?

You were made for this world
and it for you
and that is why, when you see
how the dead brown moss
on boulders and trees
springs to verdant life
at the slightest touch of rain,
you bend down and rub your cheek
ever so gently
across the bright green softness.

If that is not love,
I do not know what is.

How to Remember

The world will give you gifts if you pay attention:

A curl of red madrone bark,
fallen from the shiny surface
of the brilliantly colored tree.

Half of a tiny paper wasps’ nest,
wavy striations of white and gray
painstakingly arranged around a perfect circle.

A bird’s nest woven from pine needles
and lined with grass and lichen and moss.

Acorns whose caps fit exactly so,
each holding within it
the beginning of a giant oak.

A piece of maple bark drilled by woodpeckers,
the holes lined up with perfect precision.

Iridescent blue feathers from a Stellar’s jay,
and bright orange ones from a flicker.

A clump of moss and some blue-gray lichen;
most of the shell of a blue robin’s egg;
an owl pellet with tiny bones in;
bark from a pine and more from an oak,
each vastly different from the other.

If you watch carefully, all of these can be yours—
they land at your feet
every day.

What will you do with them?

Make an altar.

Place each item carefully,
considering its relationship
with all the others.

Each time you walk by,
let your eye land
on one small, perfect thing,
and think of how it was made.

Be astonished.
Be joyful and filled with gladness.

Then you will remember
(then you will re-member)
who you truly are
and why you are here
in this gorgeous and hurting world.

Resting in the Beauty of the World

Spirit of Life, Mystery beyond Mystery:

The wheel of the year has turned again
and now we welcome young Summer.

Change is all around us and within us,
the pace faster and faster and faster.
We are called upon to keep up with events
each more horrifying than the last
coming at us with dizzying speed.

When it all becomes too much,
when we feel we can’t keep up,
and there is not enough water in our bodies
to make any more tears,
may we rest in the beauty of the world.

May we love the long hot blue and gold days
and the thundery cloudy rainy days.

May we love the cold clear water of the river
and the fragrance of oaks and pines on the hillsides,
the taste of cherries and apricots,
and the songs of frogs at night,
the face of the person to our left,
and the face of the person to our right.

May we love them all the more knowing
we are all ephemeral parts
of one great living breathing
changing shining whole,
whose nature is love.

May we rest, always, in that love.

Blessed be.