Any patch of sunlight in a wood will show you something about the sun which you could never get from reading books on astronomy.
These pure and spontaneous pleasures are ‘patches of Godlight’ in the woods of our experience. ~C.S. Lewis
A solstice moment
when light replaces
where darkness thrives:
there is a wounding
that tears us open,
so joy can enter the cracks
that hurt the most.
And as you sit on the hillside, or lie prone under the trees of the forest, or sprawl wet-legged on the shingly beach of a mountain stream, the great door, that does not look like a door, opens. ~Stephen Graham from The Gentle Art of Tramping
That great door opens on the present, illuminates it as with a multitude of flashing torches. ~Annie Dillard (in response to the Graham’s quote) from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
There is a second or two in each day
(and some days I must watch hard for it)
when there is a moment of illumination
like a multitude of flashing torches, when I can see just beyond what is here and now.
It feels like a promise.
When I miss it,
this opened door that is not a door~
too busy to notice-
too blinded to see-
having turned my face away,
nevertheless it happens without my witness.
It saddens and gladdens my heart to know that
it will be offered up again tomorrow.
Believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it. ~Rainer Maria Rilke from Letters to a Young Poet
The sunrise this morning kept giving and giving, vanquishing the darkness through an illumination that made all things, even the sorry and the plain, beautiful.
So is the love of one person for another, reflecting the Light that illuminates us all, even to the depths of our shadows.
May we too give and give without ceasing, our plainness made beautiful, our shadows no more.
On the day when The weight deadens On your shoulders And you stumble, May the clay dance To balance you.
And when your eyes Freeze behind The grey window And the ghost of loss Gets into you, May a flock of colours, Indigo, red, green And azure blue, Come to awaken in you A meadow of delight.
When the canvas frays In the currach of thought And a stain of ocean Blackens beneath you, May there come across the waters A path of yellow moonlight To bring you safely home.
May the nourishment of the earth be yours, May the clarity of light be yours, May the fluency of the ocean be yours, May the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow Wind work these words Of love around you, An invisible cloak To mind your life. ~John O’Donohue “Beannacht“
We all stumble, bearing the bruises and scars of our fall.
We all waken to gray days when there seems no point in going on.
We all are sucked into the darkest thoughts, tunneling ever more deeply.
In those moments, those days, those months, wrapped tight in love’s cloak of invisibility:
the darkness can swallow us no longer~
we follow a lightening path of contentment and encouragement,
our failing feet are steadied, the bland becomes kaleidoscope,
the way to go illuminated with hope.
May our brokenness be forever covered in such blessings.
Only six months ago
on a winter morning
waking dark to part
From your warm side,
leaving behind my soft imprint,
I wrapped up in robe
to walk the gravel drive
for the newspaper.
Our hilltop farm
lies silent amid fallow fields
broad across my path
star sparks overhead
tree lined yard shields
the house from road.
In ink of early morning
I walk noiseless;
step out to the mailbox
then turn~ startled~
a flashlight approaching on the road-
an early walker and his dog
illuminate me in dawn disarray
like a deer in headlights:
my ruffled hair, my sleep-lined face
uncovered in the darkness:
Today this summer morning
wakes me early to streaming light
poured out on quilt and blankets.
I part from your warmth again
readied for this ritual walk.
Dew sparkling below
rich foliage above
road stretches empty
for miles east and west
Crossing the road
I reach for the paper
suddenly surrounded by
a bovine audience
appreciative and nodding
riveted by my bold approach
in broad daylight.
They abruptly scatter, tails in the air
when in rumpled robe and woolen slippers
I dance and twirl, illuminated
in hilltop celebration of such
an ordinary life
and extraordinary love