Sunday, October 30, 2011
Globes of Hope
There are no guarantees in this land of the diminishing and fleeting; the white and brown paint horse eating hay in the morning sun; the black horse in the deep shadows of the barn. My breathing a thin veil shaken out over and over rattling the molecules of air in the cold morning. Cardinals, crows, finches and red-winged blackbirds making a messy and delicious noise across the first light. Oh, the loudness of their singing spilling over fear to love. I want to move from fear, that great stiffening and ossifying. I am knowing the hour of my beloved dog’s death: wrenching clamp in my heart. He is suffering now and I need to “put him down.” What a phrase for the taking of a life held so dear and loved: to release the bright sparks slipping out. Yet, I go about many of my days as if they are going to go on forever and unchanging; that endings aren't varying degrees away; that futility and corruption of mortality in this realm aren't attending us each moment. These all encompassing mysteries we must stare down, observe closely, and become comfortable. That we are dust praising and turning in a sphere of dust.
Why aren’t we seizing every moment preciously? Why aren’t we living from the center of our hearts and opening them more often to joy? Why aren’t we kinder instead of greedy and right? Why aren’t we praying unceasingly and aware of the presence of our Lord and God more? Why do we not spend more time with our loved ones and those in need? But how much time? How much time has been squandered?
Yet, all time drops off when I behold the brightening finch that has just landed on the feeder; the red wing blackbird’s cleric perch; their singing twirling through the air like bright ribbons. The soft melodies of horse hooves plodding over damp pastures. The certain holiness of hay bales rolled up in the fields; rounded icons scattered throughout the landscape to be unfurled in the frozen, hungry time. Beholding beauty is a way of hoping, is a glimpse of God, a tender spark of faith bearing up through the hummus of mortality, doubts and losses: atoms flung out like bright beads falling; a quantum shower over all these uncertainties.
The orange and yellow cat creeps over the slanting green toward a soft plush of life pulsing in the field. Death stalking all of us with padded stepping, barely perceptible and not far off, parting tall blades in the grasses of the living.
Yet, by one obedient son, Jesus, opening His hands to nails, His great Passion for our salvation, hope warms and turns like globes in the brightness of Him: the faults of our hearts opening before all the letting go.