The Ravaged Field

Photo of Moore Oklahoma following May 20 earthquake taken by Steve Gooch for the Associated Press
Aerial photo of Moore Oklahoma following May 20 earthquake taken by Steve Gooch for the Associated Press

Yes, long shadows go out
from the bales; and yes, the soul
must part from the body:
what else could it do?

…These things happen … the soul’s bliss
and suffering are bound together
like the grasses …

The last, sweet exhalations
of timothy and vetch
go out with the song of the bird;
the ravaged field
grows wet with dew.
~Jane Kenyon from “Twilight: After Haying”

Celebration is a sign of life in the rubble, the bliss of those arising from an ash heap to walk and breathe again.  Heartache is the sight of death in the rubble, the suffering of those trapped and crushed by a roaring force too immense to imagine yet devastatingly real.

Bliss and suffering are bound together like the grasses; we are grasses torn from our roots, ravaged.

Tears flow as they must, wetting the stubble left behind like dew.  We weep in sorrow for those lost; we weep in joy for those spared.

What else can a soul do but weep at parting and weep at welcoming?

These things happen, oh yes, these awe-full awful things, they happen.

Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die.
~Psalm 103: 15