as ever

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Today a hummingbird visited our small home. She exhausted herself trying to find a way out through the skylight. Her teensy wings weighed down with the string of old spider webs and sawdust. Then, with a similar shock of elegance as when our son once slipped out of me and into his papa’s hands, so did this hummingbird fly right into my lover’s palm. We attempted to behold her, this thing that happened.

He set her down so she could consider when she might like to fly again. Moments later she would quake and lift into a lilting flight, finding her way to the cedar tree; The self-same tree where we first sought shelter at Evernia. We would tuck our tent just under the boughs. I followed and wondered as I watched her settle onto the cedar branch: Did I just imagine the color of her feathers growing more vibrant as she regained her strength? I stayed until it felt natural to leave her in peace.

I walked over to Timo, who had just started to wave me over; his other hand extended a pointer finger over his lips in a “shh” shape. When I joined him, he was meeting the gaze of a perky-eared coyote down in the crabgrass meadow. She stood next to the labyrinth he made the week before. The trickster was gray, petite, and resolute. She sat down for a moment, keeping her gaze; then stood back up and unhurriedly sauntered back into the forest. The moment she disappeared from our view a monarch-sized, yellow and black butterfly fluttered past us, trailed by an iridescently blue dragonfly.

The appearance of the hummingbird up to the retreat of the dragonfly took place in a span of fifteen minutes, during our child’s nap.

Seekers want to know why: What is the meaning of this abundance? Would something like to announce itself? Are we being welcomed? Has a long-awaited, sacred sprout broken soil in the forest? Has a great and renowned fish just passed by in the stream?

Or what if the hummingbird found herself in our small, wooden house quite by mistake? If the coyote found herself in the field looking at a man when she had been following a mole? What if a butterfly and a dragonfly found themselves tracking a scent in the same bit of air, which I also happened to be breathing?

That they should exist at all, and find themselves at Evernia; that I should live at all, and call the same place home. Any meaning I could assign to what happened today would at best meet the gaze of what is already sublimely sacred; for it to have been and to have been witnessed was a miracle.

A gift received.

Thanks be.

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Art:  by Stepha Lawson, http://www.languageofbirth.com

The Pacific Northwest sun is a glowing pregnant woman. She’s casting radiance and just as soon tucked away into the downy blanket of cumulus clouds or thick altostratus sheets. When she slips under, we feast our eyes on the colors to keep warm: The rhododendron’s fuchsia heat. The wisteria, a living watercolor of melting lavender tresses. The bleeding heart florets snuggled into grass like small lips lying in wait.

In a creation where cruelty and misfortune also bear fruit, it can be tricky to remember death itself is not malicious; how good it is for flowers to rot, for seasons to come and go, for elders to rest. And so I would like to make peace with our ephemeral sun, to accept that she remain fleeting and precious in these Pacific heights; so the Earth here can stay fathomless dank and teeming with alchemy.

But for now, we feast our eyes and fill our cups, and all the vases in the house. We celebrate with joy and also in defiance of all the evidence that would suggest we ought to do otherwise. It is brave to spend time loving and praising what must pass. Dear spring. Dear children. Dear breath. Earth shows us we can trust in the ultimate goodness of the comings and the goings.

The more at peace I am with the essential revolution of planets and people alike, the more I’m able to sense and admire just what is happening here. It is by making room for mystery and movement, not by having the answers that I keep my faith and sing my prayer. Bless you in your radiance, as well as in your dormancy, northwest sun, and every living love.

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I love the nectarous morning that follows a wet night: how the ether is thick and cast in green, sweaty with the breath of lilacs. And the dandelions spread out below like stars, like little, teasing caricatures of the sun calling out to the child beside us and within us. A sip of coffee or a throb of thought, and feel! How the inner waters rise to the surface of paws and pits: in a blush of gratitude, in a wave of uncertainty, with a hope that pulses like pain.

My womb blossoms in a chorus with the rest of springtime Earth, consenting to her rhythms. I grow from the waist: an animal sprouting, a daydream come to bloom from the inside out. What are you? A seed and a spell, a fiddlehead unfurling.

When the tide is low, we follow the seagulls down to the shore and let the water lick our feet; to see it and feel it is enough. We relinquish the hard thought of winter, the incessant figuring out, and return to our kindergarten lessons: The five senses, the importance of kindness, the magic of baby animals, and the sweet wet of kisses.

Glory be to the sweet wet, to the beings of the womb and of the water, to all that has been birthed and is yet to be born. Glory be to these nectarous mornings that feel like holy visitations, and for the springtime mist that moves over the mind, and puts us back in touch with our supple artist, with our satisfied mammal, content to taste what is, and to grow what is not yet.

 

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My breasts, his bread and his blanket,
It’s how our tender creator made it.
He comes up for air,
white specks ocean spray his nose, and I’ve given myself
over to the worship of toes.

Between your legs made of milk,
a heart-shaped pink frog, and an elephant trunk-
someday will be closed away from me.
But every day, all day, I see it, I clean it,
washing away what’s done is done.

When you wake from sleep, short or long
I’m reminded of where I’ve gone wrong,

letting any little or any big thing,

stand in the way of what has been given,
The good news is gooder than being forgiven.

You go from earth to heaven
when the little one wants your milk and your milk only,
your breast, your breast only
with milk for him, and him only.
You’re already in at that point.

I’m going to destroy my jaw and break my teeth
From clenching with ecstasy.

 

“‘sweet spring is your

time is my time is our

time for springtime is lovetime

and viva sweet love’

(all the merry little birds are

flying in the floating in the

very spirits singing in

are winging in the blossoming)

lovers go and lovers come

awandering awondering

but any two are perfectly

alone there’s nobody else alive

(such a sky and such a sun

i never knew and neither did you

and everybody never breathed

quite so many kinds of yes)

not a tree can count his leaves

each herself by opening

but shining who by thousands mean

only one amazing thing

(secretly adoring shyly

tiny winging darting floating

merry in the blossoming

always joyful selves are singing)

‘sweet spring is your

time is my time is our

time for spring is lovetime

and viva sweet love'”

– e. e. cummings

Teach the children. Show them daisies and the pale hepatica. Teach them the taste of sassafras and wintergreen. The lives of the blue sailors, mallow, sunbursts, the moccasin-flowers. And the frisky ones- inkberry, lamb’s quarters, blueberries. And the aromatic ones- rosemary, oregano. Give them peppermint to put in their pockets as they go to school. Give them the fields and the woods and the possibility of the world salvaged from the lords of profit. Stand them in the stream, head them upstream, rejoice as they learn to love this green space they live in, its sticks and leaves and then the silent, beautiful blossoms.

Attention is the beginning of devotion.

-Mary Oliver

artist: sarah good

artist: sarah good

The moon is most happy

when it is full.

And the sun always looks

like a perfectly minted gold coin

that was just polished

and placed in flight

by God’s playful kiss.

And so many varieties of fruit

hang plump and round

from branches that seem

like a Sculptor’s hands.

I see the beautiful curve of a pregnant belly

shaped by a soul within,

and the Earth itself,

and the planets and the Spheres–

I have gotten the hint:

there is something about circles

the Beloved likes.

-Hafiz

artist: unknown

Can I, imprisoned, body-bound, touch

The starry garment of the Oversoul,

Reach from my tiny part to the great Whole,

And spread my Little to the infinite Mulch,

When Truth forever slips from out my clutch,

And what I take indeed, I do but dole

In cupfuls from a rimless ocean-bowl

That holds a million million million such?

And Yet, some Thing that moves among the stars,

And holds the cosmos in a web of law,

Moves too in me: a hunger, a quick thaw

Of soul that melts the ancient bars,

As I, a member of creation, sing

The burning oneness binding everything.

-Kenneth E. Boulding

I’ve been thinking about how this Beginning of an earthly life within my body must be connected to the Spirit that was and is the Beginning of all life. Clean existence. Is it pure consciousness that wiggles inside? Does it have anything to do with consciousness? This urge to Bring Forth is something I can understand bodily now. This desire to Bring Forth, mixed with fear, mixed with trust, mixed with the longing to love and nurture- and to also allow for freedom. Is it something of what god felt when embarking on the creation of this universe?

I can see how having the christ to embody what had mostly been language and stale theology was and has been essential for many to get it. The deepest and most sustainable way of Knowing does always seem to come through embodiment- through our bodies and relationships, and interacting with creation.

I’m grateful to have sprung from a tradition that gives wild priority to Incarnation. There’s not only the fleshing out of it all, but the glorious inner light, the christ within: she quells our anxiety and speaks to us in ways that are entirely secret and almost impossible to express. reminds. suggests. sometimes sends us what we need. sometimes withholds what needs to be withheld.

For a little while longer, the identity of our child will be withheld, so that they can grow stronger, and so we can continue on the emotional, preparatory journey that is necessary. I’m not sure how fair it is that only women are able to undergo this experience. It is a marvel. And marvelously uncomfortable at week 35. I am equal parts lord have mercy and thanks be.

holding all pregnant women of the world in the Light..”in the burning oneness binding everything.”

Start seeing everything as god

but keep it a secret

become like a woman who is awestruck and nourished

listening to a golden nightingale sing

in a beautiful foreign language

while god invisibly nests upon its tongue

hafiz, who can tell you in this world

that when a dog runs up to you

wagging its ecstatic tail

you lean down and whisper in its ear

“Beloved,

I am so glad you are happy to see me.

Beloved I am so glad, so very glad, You have come.”

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