It is a dark fall day. The earth is slightly damp with rain. I hear a jay. The cry is blue. I have found you in the story again. Is there another word for “divine”? I need a song that will keep sky open in my mind. If I think behind me, I might break. If I think forward, I lose now. Forever will be a day like this Strung perfectly on the necklace of days. Slightly overcast Yellow leaves Your jacket hanging in the hallway Next to mine. ~Joy Harjo “Fall Song”
In the string of fall days,
each differs from the one before
and the one that comes after,
a transitional linkage to winter
at once gradual and unrelenting.
If I were to try to stop time,
hold tight a particular moment,
this necklace of days would break and scatter,
as the connection depends
on what was before
what is now
and what is to come.
Let this day’s air praise the Lord— Rinsed with gold, endless, walking the fields, Blue and bearing the clouds like censers, Holding the sun like a single note Running through all things, a basso profundo Rousing the birds to an endless chorus.
In joy. For it is he who underlies The rock from its liquid foundation, The sharp contraries of the giddy atom, The unimaginable curve of space, Time pulling like a patient string, And gravity, fiercest of natural loves.
At his laughter, splendor riddles the night, Galaxies swarm from a secret hive, Mountains split and crawl for aeons To huddle again, and planets melt In the last tantrum of a dying star.
Sit straight, let the air ride down your backbone, Let your lungs unfold like a field of roses, Your eyes hang the sun and moon between them, Your hands weigh the sky in even balance, Your tongue, swiftest of members, release a word Spoken at conception to the sanctum of genes, And each breath rise sinuous with praise.
Now, shout from the stomach, hoarse with music, Give gladness and joy back to the Lord, Who, sly as a milkweed, takes root in your heart. ~from Robert Siegel’s poetry in Flourish Magazine 2010
Judging from the long lines at grocery store check-out aisles, this is the week of the stomach and feasting. Feeling over-full after a sumptuous meal on Thursday does nothing to satisfy the ravenous hunger we feel all the rest of the year.
It is, in fact, the heart that must be filled continuously, not the stomach three times a day. Our stomach may shout and growl, but it is the heart that yearns and mourns for Love lost, Love regained, Love pondered and treasured up.
May He take root in our hearts this week and always as our stomach is silenced by the feast only He can serve.
Every now and then, I forget to turn off the lights in the barn. I usually notice just before I go to bed, when the farm’s boundaries seem to have drawn in close. That light makes the barn seem farther away than it is — a distance I’m going to have to travel before I sleep. The weather makes no difference. Neither does the time of year.
Usually, after turning out that forgotten barn light, I sit on the edge of the tractor bucket for a few minutes and let my eyes adjust to the night outside. City people always notice the darkness here, but it’s never very dark if you wait till your eyes owl out a little….I’m always glad to have to walk down to the barn in the night, and I always forget that it makes me glad. I heave on my coat, stomp into my barn boots and trudge down toward the barn light, muttering at myself. But then I sit in the dark, and I remember this gladness, and I walk back up to the gleaming house, listening for the horses. ~Verlyn Klinkenborg from A Light in the Barn
My favorite thing about walking up from the barn at night is looking at the lights glowing in our house, knowing there is life happening there, even though each child has flown away to distant cities. There is love happening there as Dan and I adjust to an “alone” life together. There are still future years there – as many as God grants us to stay on the farm.
It is home and it is light and if all it takes is a walk from a darkened barn to remind me, I’ll leave the lights on in the barn at night more often.
If God makes the world, populates the world, infuses the world with every kind of ethical meaning, then the signature of God is the beauty of the world. Why even imagine a mystical experience when we’re born into one, submerged in one, day after day? ~Marilynne Robinson from Image Journal
drowning in a morass of tiny details,
trying to make sense
of the incomprehensible~
life sometimes spread so thin
it’s punched with gaping holes
filled only by God’s breath.
This is Him
staking His claim
by signing His name
on our hearts.
There is beauty in the world
from our insides out,
every hole of nothingness,
every connecting thread
every letter He has ever written
reminding us we are His.