God’s Realm is likeMark 4:26
someone who scatters seed on the ground.
Night and day while
the sower sleeps and rises,
the seed sprouts and grows,
but just how, no-one knows.
(A version of this reflection was posted in 2018)
What will awaken you to the hidden wonders of this day?
If you are fortunate
to wake up warmly
under soft, clean sheets,
conjure the sun-drenched cotton,
gathered and washed, dyed and woven, stitched
where nimble fingers and sweat come cheaply.
For there are others
who emerge after a noisy night under a bypass,
wreathed in cardboard, nestled in newspaper.
That rumble of natural gas or electrical hum
fueled by Nature’s captured treasure,
releases long-coveted sunlight from primeval forests.
Consider those once-green hilltops,
clear-cut, gouged and blasted-bare,
and the communities reliant on this predatory production.
In order that we might live, stars in their millions,
tens of millions, hundreds of millions even, have died.
The iron in our blood, the calcium in our bones,
the oxygen that fills our lungs each time we take a breath
– all were cooked in the furnaces of stars
which expired long before the Earth was born.
Stepping into a steaming shower,
you are refreshed by waters redirected,
piped, purified and warmed,
mindful that clean water
still remains beyond the reach of millions,
who daily trek to standpipes, creeks and waterholes.
Now clad in underwear crafted in Bangladesh,
denim from Nicaragua, leather molded in Malaysia;
your body is swathed in the weary work of the world.
Cradling your steaming, morning brew,
from beans or leaves harvested in Sri Lanka or Guatemala,
you sip from a mug fired in a Chinese factory.
You smear your breakfast bread,
baked in a far-flung city,
with summer fruits, gathered from fields unknown.
And, savoring the rush of sweetness,
you reflect on other hungers unabated,
for warmth, food, friendship, and dignity.
Before even stepping outside, to inhale
the morning freshness with canticles of birdsong,
already you are gift-wrapped in a wonderfully wounded world.
While you slumbered, multitudes of unseen hands
worked land, shifted boxes, mined minerals,
to manufacture the material of your morning,
while good Earth relinquished
bounty of soil and rolling rivers
all to make each passing moment possible.
Radiance enlightens every morning
with the ageless interplay
of matter and energy, mixed with travail and tragedy.
To the awakened,Joe Grant, Scratchings
every sunrise is a first
brilliant blush of brand-new creation,
each frigid breath suspended, a
sacramental exhalation in
of mystery, misery, and magnificence
entwine, to entangle us all in daily communion.
This tracery of holy connection revealed by dewdrops,
shimmering breezes and sparkling sunlight,
along with the frantic flapping of life, trapped in tragedy.
When next you step into the web of morning,
wearing the world and wondering about the Source,
may you be grateful for each momentary connection.
AntidotesJoe Grant, Scratchings
For the bored, wonder.
For the cynic, gratefulness.
For the prideful, awe.
Only those who know
how blessed they are
can be blessing to others.
Text and images by Joe Grant © 2021 All Rights Reserved