Friday, February 25, 2011

How I Got to the Woods

Ordinarily I go to the woods alone, with not a single friend, for they are all smilers and talkers and therefore unsuitable.

I don't really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds or hugging the old black oak tree. I have my way of praying, as you no doubt have yours.

Besides, when I am alone I can become invisible. I can sit on the top of a dune as motionless as an uprise of weeds, until the foxes run my unconcerned. I can hear the almost unbearable sound of the roses singing.

If you have ever gone to the woods with me, I must love you very much.

I tell you I’d like to pray with Mary. 

I’d like to go on a hadj to her part of the world and bow down near the pond in humility and adoration.

I’d like to offer confessions to the ducks and trees that knew how to listen in their feathered and barked way.

I’d like to meditate in the fields, and perhaps share a smile with Mary as the hawk flies over with something still and furry.

I have gone to the woods for years as my church and temple, but so much of it is alone. 

Once when I was sitting on a hilltop in Guatemala, a jararundi (small wild cat) approached me from the trees and bounded by me only a few feet away.

Sometimes it helps to have the prayers answered, to know you are lovable and loving.

How do you pray?

1 comment:

  1. My favorite places to pray are the woods, and the ocean shore. I cannot easily physically get to either right now. So, I look from afar or from the edge of the woods and imagine that the solid ground I am standing on is in either of those places. I turn my back to the civilization behind me and feel more connected to the universe. At night I look up into the stars and detach myself from any worries and float along with my feet firmly on the earth as my boat through the galaxy as if weightless.