The seed pod dropped on the sidewalk and split.
I see the ruddy shine through a slit
in the spiked orb and wonder at its depth
of color, the certain slant of light spent
on its creation and its becoming.
I hold the sharp husk gingerly between
my fingers and thumb and wonder at the satisfaction
in prying apart the halves, the silken rip at the pith. Notions
of Autumn’s approach, the colored leaves, the drying bits
of grass and flower are upon me. The death and dormancy that fit
beneath the harvest ground conceal a greater thing:
Latent energy bursting into fullness, our God blossoming
into the son of man ripening into the fullness of his mystery.
I am tempted to hold fast the shells and face
the blank wall, keep myself hidden within the pointed case
and find my way to fullness turned inward. Yet I strain
against the covering, press into the exterior a plain
and arching back. I drop against the ground and split
to see a shining depth of light in which
death and birth work together.
Falling away from self I rise in Christ
loving and being loved in turn, this daily practice
our cross and joy. We tear away the ruined husk
and reveal a softer fruit, one that trusts
in a fertile ground, this nature in the city, this spirit in the flesh,
this cyclical forgiveness.
Lord God, you are All in All. You have blessed us immeasurably with life and spirit. Continue to bless us with selfless love that we may care for one another as you care for us, and in so doing wash away our fears of abandonment, hopelessness, and failure. May we love each other with your sacrificial love so that our homes become sanctuaries, for in these gardens of forgiveness our children will grow and change the world. May we love and forgive without reserve, and may all people receive your grace, absorbing it like rain on well-watered ground. Open our hearts that we may know you in the midst of our conflicts. Bless us with your spirit that we may know the comfort of your peace. Be with us as we live moment to moment that we may understand humility and meekness. With a grateful heart, we ask all these things through Christ who strengthens us.
A wise friend has said,
“Yoga is a fine fuel;”
it keeps us going,
sometimes for ages,
past our last practice.
Indeed, it is the repetition
of the little movements
and breaths of our days
that come back to us
when we’ve nothing left to give –
it is the cardinal’s red flash across
our back-porch window,
his flitting between the forsythia branches;
it is the plethora of our little boy’s
generous hugging, his loving squeeze
when we are happy, sad, angry, tired;
it is the unwavering “I love you” of our two-year-old,
the immediate “it’s ok” of our four-year-old;
the surprising “thanks for having me”of our nine-year-old.
All these things come back to us –
our hard work moving and breathing on the mat,
our constant glances through the window,
our cuddling through the night,
our speaking love through the day,
our effortful forgiveness at all hours,
our creation of enjoyable experiences –
and we are given
freedom of movement,
glimpses of beauty,
words of love, forgiveness, gratitude.
But even more than all of this,
Divinity comes to us without
our effort –
for God loves us first
God chases us always
God never turns away
God always waits.
God in infinite humility
comes to us in person,
in Christ, in a Spirit
that reaches into our own
without our needing to lift a finger of effort
but to say “Yes.”
Sometimes saying yes
feels like mountain-moving.
Thank God he is God.
Thank God he is even more
All-Loving than I can understand.