An Offering

When the song bird sings,

She puts her whole body into it.

 

High up in the crabapple,

Serene and unblinking one moment.

 

In the next blink, mouth agape

Her whole body is convulsing 

 

As sounds of summer

Pour forth

 

Her body is no bigger than my hand

But her voice seems to completely fill

the still morning air

 

Watching,

I think I see the build up, anticipation, effort

 

And the joy of release

 

I hear the song as celebration 

And as offering

A gift of voice given to the new day

 

I give thanks.

 

And I recommit

to leaning in with my whole body,

to pausing with utter stillness,

to raising my voice

to offer the song that is mine to sing.

Emerging in Love

At Beltane, the mid-point between the spring equinox and the summer solstice, the gathering light and heat of the season are coaxing growth from the warming soil and nudging us out of our winter cocoons. In this season, we celebrate fertility and look forward to the growing season and harvests ahead. Our own energy, nurtured by a winter of reflection and dormancy and stimulated by sunlight and warmth, is also ready to burst forth. To me, this is love – emerging from the ground, blossoming in the trees and singing from treetops – swelling in my heart.

At the same time, we are preparing to emerge from just over a year altered by Covid-19, a year marked by grief and loss, isolation and fear…and also by incredible acts of generous and creative love. Individuals have stepped forward in countless ways to support one another, keep one another safe and advocate for one another.

We have been reminded that love is not only a disposition, it is a discipline. Love manifests in our daily acts of kindness and generosity – our work for justice, getting dinner on the table for our loved ones, bringing dinner to a lonely neighbor, holding the door for the person walking into the store behind us, smiling gently at the driver who cut us off on the highway.

As we take our first tentative steps toward re-opening, it feels useful to reflect on how we got here. I recently re-read a long list of questions that emerged last March when we first began to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.

*I do not have any answers, but I am sitting with openness, curiosity, and a strong belief in our capacity for change. Hope lives here. I offer some of it to you:

As we spend more time in our homes and local communities,

         What bridges will we build?

         What support will we offer to others?

         What support will we need from others?

As we notice the impact of our lives on the lives of others,

         Will we claim our participation in the web of life?

         Will we remember the legacy of survival that ensured our lives?

         Will we remember that we will one day be the ancestors in someone else’s story?

As we recognize our depth of responsibility to the interconnected human family,

         Will we also notice our connection with all living beings?

         Will we notice our interconnection with the living, pulsing earth?

         Will we notice that we are, in fact, One?

The lily and tulip spears nudging their way through the barely thawed soil in my yard are a prelude to the new season. May we also enter the season as neophytes, open to the promise and surprise of our own unfolding.

*Excerpted from  Arriving Here: Reflections from the Hearth and Trail.

Spring Poetry Series, 5

5

This aching body

Is familiar and brand new.

It arrived slowly

over forty-eight 

Years and thousands of miles

Bones, blood and muscles

Full of accumulated

Work, play, exercise and rest

This body knows things

This body knows when

Recovery is needed —

More often these days.

 

For today, I will

Pause. Soften, Relax, Retreat.

A treasured fullness.

Spring Poetry Series, 3

Enter the house with

Arms full and mind weary

Still holding the day.

 

Let it all go now.

Arrive to this new moment

That rises to greet you

With a breathless word,

A need just barely hidden 

To hold and be held.

 

Enter the house with

Heart open wide, prepare to

Give and receive.

Spring Poetry Series, 2

2

Look to the maple,

Her pale smooth bark covered in

Soft lime-green lichen

Branches end with a 

Splash of red. Fertility,

Signs of life to come

All this beauty, this

color. So generously

Hosted by this tree

Under a blue sky,

A bluer than bluest sky

I think I feel joy

Is it mine or hers?

This tree with arms open wide

Or me, heart gaping?

This is agape

Living reciprocity

The only way, perhaps.