I had just read a quote from landscape artist Thomas Cole: “Nature has spread for us a rich and delightful banquet. Shall we turn from it? We are still in Eden; the wall that shuts us out of the garden is our own ignorance and folly.”
A woman on public radio announced Beethoven’s Pastoral Sonata, #15.
Then I heard something drop. I looked up from my tablet and realized the bouquet of flowers in front of me was losing petals. The before-dawn early morning was so quiet I could hear a petal fall.
This prompted me to compose this poem:
A flower’s tearsare the dewdropsthat drip, orb by orb,as sun rises.
A flower’s tearsare the raindropsthat stream, string by string,as storms rage.
A flower’s tearsare the petalsthat drop, one by one,as life renews.
I was sitting at our dining room table, a very solid oak sturdy-legged altar that once served as Wade’s grandfather’s butcher block. Long before we met, Wade had painstakingly sanded (and sanded) and refinished this table that seats four and can be extended by way of built-in leaves for eight just as comfortably. On all five windows of the pentagonal room hang patterned stained-glass, framed in various shapes in wood whose peeling white trim contrasted with the colors of their homes that no longer stand.
The morning I write this, I rose so early that my usual place for morning prayers was too dark to read, so I chose this alternate sanctuary.
And then I read: “Henri taught me that the characteristics I had identified with religion are just the outer circle. What really matters is a fundamental attitude of seeking to do something that is valuable to yourself and to the world.” Henri Nouwen’s nephew Marc van Campen wrote this in Befriending Life: Encounters with Henri Nouwen.
Moved by awe at this magical moment, I thanked God that life is filled with such opportunities to experience the world “as if for the first time” and then to express that mystery in writing, in art, in service.
“Nature has spread for us a rich and delightful banquet. Shall we turn from it? We are still in Eden; the wall that shuts us out of the garden is our own ignorance and folly.”
A post for the 15th anniversary of 9/11 on Sunday: 9/11: When We Were One
Copyright © 2016 by Chris R. Glaser. Permission granted for non-profit use with attribution of author and blogsite. Other rights reserved.