(A version of this reflection was posted in 2017)
Look closely at the ravens.Luke 12:24
They do not sow or harvest.
They have neither storehouse nor barn.
Yet, Holy One sustains them.
When was the last time Nature made you whole?
Deprived of natural habitat
we retreat into the head,
to feast on flashing images, make ideas our daily bread.
is designed or destined
to be caged.
All are fashioned
freely to roam,
broadly to range.
Thus, the majestic magnetism of Creation
exerts a hold on the soul;
not merely as playground, but original living room.
God is ever at home,Meister Eckhart.
it’s we who’ve gone out for a walk.
still possess power to captivate,
for we but recently clambered down from trees.
Walking leafy woodland
we break out of a heady hermitage,
back to holy ground where all belong.
But how can we know creaturehood
until we recover relationship
with the soil and seasons of natural neighborhood.
The moment we step outdoors,
draw breath and wander the wilds,
observers no longer, but participants are we.
The real prayers are not the words,Mary Oliver
but the attention that comes first.
Failing to thrive in artificial isolation,
spawns synthetic spirituality—spiked with unholy dualism.
Denied organic connection,
inhumane nature concocts conditions
that alienation people from planet.
brothers, sisters, neighbors all,
consigned to shanty-town, defined by suburban sprawl.
fostering amnesia about sacred sister species,
breeding disdain for creatures who creep or swim or fly.
Such earthy expressions of creaturehood,
with every right to livelihood,
have much to teach that sanctifies and makes us whole.
How many are your works, Holy One!Psalm 104:24
In wisdom you made them all;
earth is brimming with your creatures.
Pilgrims, not exiles, on this planet,
we root for restoration;
to reclaim our place in an expanding universe.
Timeless rocks, endless stars,
expansive ocean depths, holy hills—
all living facets of Life that lives in us.
Wherever we pay attention,
Creation obliges with magnificent demonstrations
of gentleness, generosity, tenacity, liberation.
Remove the sandals from your feet,Exodus 3:5
for soulful is the ground beneath your soles.
Without teachings from figs and fungus,
rocks, worms, and wrens,
how can we understand outlasting life?
This grand show is eternal.John Muir
It is always sunrise somewhere;
the dew is never all dried at once;
a shower is forever falling;
vapor is ever rising.
Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset,
eternal dawn and gloaming,
on sea and continents and islands,
each in its turn,
as the round earth rolls.
Are we not here to magnify munificence,
and do justice that paves the way for beauty—
truest trademark of our Maker?
Have we not power in our holy hands
to bring back balance,
and mirror magnanimity resplendent in Creation.
May you, this day, go out of your way
to let Nature school your soul
and restore Holy Creaturehood.
SCRATCHINGS: Poems & More by Joe Grant