I have heard making pilgrimage to India,
to study asana, is like being broken-open.
The first month you are cracked;
the second you are rewired,
and the third you are pieced together new.
I have heard making pilgrimage to family,
to co-create human beings, is like being broken-open.
The first child opens you, raw;
the second rearranges your understanding;
the third confirms the mystery,
and the fourth pieces you together new.
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.