How does the seed-grain feel
When it is just beginning to be wheat?
And how does the catbird feel
When the blue eggs break and become little catbirds?
Maybe on midsummer night’s eve,
And without fanfare?
And how does the turtle feel as she covers her eggs
With the sweep of her feet
Then leaves them for the world to take care of?
Does she know her accomplishment?
And when the blue heron, beaking his long breast feathers,
Sees one feather fall, does he know I will find it?
Will he see me holding it in my hand
As he opens his wings
Softly and without a sound-
As he rises and floats over the water?
And this is just any day at the edge of the pond,
A black and leafy pond without a name
Until I named it.
And what else can we do when the mysteries present themselves
But hope to pluck from the basket the brisk words
That will applaud them,
The heron, the turtle, the catbird, the seed-grain
Kneeling in the dark earth, its body
Opening into the golden world?
Mary has gotten into me. Does she know her accomplishment? Yesterday I spent all day in a conference center, and when evening came a group of us went along the San Diego bay front in search of our restaurant. As we walked I looked over the heads of the crowds onto the water, jammed with boats, and longed for my north Florida springs where I might be held in oneness and peace for a while. Homesickness I suppose, or spring sickness, or for Mary, pond sickness – I wanted to be home. Then this morning, oh so very early by Pacific Coast time, the sun a long way from showing me a golden world, I lay in my bed thinking of the springs and home. And of course I was there – the hotel air swirling around me held me in oneness and peace for a while. The litter dropped on last night’s sidewalk by a street vendor not so very different from the heron’s gifted feather. Reading Mary’s poems it seems that I open more to this world, my only accomplishment this day to kneel in the earth, or on the sidewalk, or the hotel fitness floor, and give word form to the mystery of grateful praise happening in me with you, reader and companion.
How do you name the mysteries in your life, both the grand and the nearly imperceptible?