Tis May; and yet the March flower Dandelion Is still in bloom among the emerald grass, Shining like guineas with the sun’s warm eye on– We almost think they are gold as we pass, Or fallen stars in a green sea of grass. They shine in fields, or waste grounds near the town. They closed like painter’s brush when even was. At length they turn to nothing else but down, While the rude winds blow off each shadowy crown.
In the meadow-grass
The innocent white daisies blow,
The dandelion plume doth pass
Vaguely to and fro, –
The unquiet spirit of a flower That hath too brief an hour. ~Ellen Mackay Hutchinson Cortissoz
All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.
And this is the word that was preached to you. 1Peter 1:24-25
Like a seed released when buffeted,
or simply blown aloft at the moment of ripeness,
may we be the unquiet flower spirit
carrying your Word on fragile wings
to far corners and hidden places;
settling softly, taking root
wherever your breath takes us.
This dandelion has long ago surrendered its golden petals, and has reached its crowning stage of dying – the delicate seed-globe must break up now – it gives and gives till it has nothing left.
The hour of this new dying is clearly defined to the dandelion globe: it is marked by detachment. There is no sense of wrenching: it stands ready, holding up its little life, not knowing when or where or how the wind that bloweth where it listeth may carry it away. It holds itself no longer for its own keeping, only as something to be given; a breath does the rest…
~Lillias Trotter from “Parables of the Cross”
Might I ever stand “ready” as a field of dandelions in full-puff, seeds preparing to detach in response to a breeze or a breath?
This readiness feels very much like the peak of labor in childbirth, a moment that feels as if time has stopped – the inevitability that one can never go back to the way things were. This “crowning” of the new life as it emerges means the surrender of the old life and its resultant emptying.
May I turn my head full on to the breeze, giving and giving until I have nothing left.
Only then, only then, is there a moment of detachment that leads me to eternity.
Thou mastering me God! giver of breath and bread; World’s strand, sway of the sea; Lord of living and dead; Thou hast bound bones and veins in me, fastened me flesh, And after it almost unmade, what with dread, Thy doing: and dost thou touch me afresh? Over again I feel thy finger and find thee.
~Gerard Manley Hopkins from “The Wreck of the Deutschland”
The downy thousands of tiny puffball galaxies
have returned strewn in our fields,
swirling in a universe of yellow stars
tossed from your Hand
and blown by your breath.
I’m blown away too ~
Your handiwork has knitted
field to flesh,
Your touch a moment of freshened grace.
All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken, A light from the shadows shall spring; Renewed shall be blade that was broken, The crownless again shall be king. ~J.R.R. Tolkien
Now burn, new born to the world,
The heaven-flung, heart-fleshed, maiden-furled
Mid-numbered he in three of the thunder-throne!
Not a dooms-day dazzle in his coming nor dark as he came;
Kind, but royally reclaiming his own;
A released shower, let flash to the shire, not a lightning of fíre hard-hurled. ~Gerard Manley Hopkins from “The Wreck of the Deutschland”
We tend to forget we too are heaven-flung;
each of us plain and ordinary and numerous as the weeds of the field
until the Light comes upon us from the shadows,
illuminated gold and dazzling,
fire-awakened, hard-hurled and reclaimed as His own.
He calls us each by name,
knows each slender thread of hair on our heads.
We may wander, oh do we wander,
but are not lost
as long as our faces remain turned toward Him.
There are some people who write haiku poetry to make a living.
You know what I think?
We should make our living become haiku poetry.
You might toil in a clattering factory
or on a tossing fishing boat
or be battling to make a living in a dingy shop.
There are people who have written inspiring haiku poems in such unpoetic situations.
And we, if we really want to,
can make any occupation,
and twenty-four hours of each day,
into a poem.
Of course, first we have to create a heart
that is both serious and light!
We have to gaze below the surface of things,
search out the hidden beauty that is everywhere
and discover the glorious things all around us.
Then each day becomes a haiku poem. ~Dr. Takashi Nagai, survivor of the Nagasaki atomic bomb
closed my eyelids to
finality of sunlight’s
reach, and glowed within
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me. ~Henry Lyte, from the hymn “Abide with Me”
Forgive me if I forget with the birdsong and the day’s last glow folding into the hands of the trees, forgive me the few syllables of the autumn crickets, the year’s last firefly winking like a penny in the shoulder’s weeds, if I forget the hour, if I forget the day as the evening star pours out its whiskey over the gravel and asphalt I’ve walked for years alone, if I startle when you put your hand in mine, if I wonder how long your light has taken to reach me here. ~Jake Adam York “Abide”
On my tiniest days,
when I am no more
than a dew drop
on the fingertip of a glass blade,
as transient as life feels,
we will walk hand in hand,
in Him whose Light reaches out
even to our depths.