On the Birthday Of Life …

Show me an image
of the invisible God.
Show me the first born of all creatures.
Show me how to see
everything in Him,
heaven, earth, visible, invisible.
Show me how everything continues.
Show me the fullness residing in Him
and I will kneel at every crib scene I see.
I will kneel to every carved and molded
infant on straw, to every blue-gowned Madonna.
I will kneel by my bed every evening.
I will kneel to the radiant dawn.
I will kneel at every revelation of wisdom.
I will kneel every time I’m set free.
Show me on this birthday of life
newness, fullness, fulfillment,
and I will spend my life kneeling
to the invisible God.
I will spend my life free.
— Mary Elizabeth Lauzon (2004) author of The Kisses of His Mouth

To be of the Earth is to know
the restlessness of being a seed
the darkness of being planted
the struggle toward the light
the pain of growth into the light
the joy of bursting and bearing fruit
the love of being food for someone
the scattering of your seeds
the decay of the seasons
the mystery of death
and the miracle of birth
— John Soos, Earth Prayer (quoted in Christ in a Grain of Sand: An Ecological Journey with the Spiritual Exercises)

When we surrender, when we do not fight with life when she calls upon us, we are lifted and the strength to do what needs to be done finds us.
— Oriah Mountain Dreamer from The Invitation

Where Does the Dance Begin, Where Does It End?

Don’t call this world adorable, or useful, that’s not it.

It’s frisky, and a theater for more than fair winds.
The eyelash of lightning is neither good nor evil.
The struck tree burns like a pillar of gold.

But the blue rain sinks, straight to the white
feet of the trees
whose mouths open.
Doesn’t the wind, turning in circles, invent the dance?
Haven’t the flowers moved, slowly, across Asia, then Europe,
until at last, now, they shine
in your own yard?

Don’t call this world an explanation, or even an education.

When the Sufi poet whirled, was he looking
outward, to the mountains so solidly there
in a white-capped ring, or was he looking
to the center of everything: the seed, the egg, the idea
that was also there,
beautiful as a thumb
curved and touching the finger, tenderly,
little love-ring,

as he whirled,
oh jug of breath,
in the garden of dust?
— Mary Oliver from Why I Wake Early