As promised, we’ll go outside on Sunday. A beautiful day to get out an observe (see Annie Dillard below “the least we can do is try to be there“), reflect, and look for meaning. Consider the ways what the natural world speaks to you. Do you hear God’s voice there? What is it that nature does for us?
We won’t go far, but for goodness sake, wear comfortable shoes!
Here are some nuggets from Thomas Merton, Annie Dillard, and Rabbi Nachman. Enjoy, and see you Sunday, 9:30, in the library. We need to decide what we’ll bring for Community Food Connection this month – John
The mockingbird took a single step into the air and dropped. His wings were still folded against his sides as though he were singing from a limb and not falling, accelerating thirty-two feet per second per second, through empty air. Just a breath before he would have been dashed to the ground, he unfurled his wings with exact, deliberate care, revealing the broad bars of white, spread his elegant, white-banded tail, and so floated onto the grass. I had just rounded a corner when his insouciant step caught my eye; there was no one else in sight. The fact of his free fall was like the old philosophical conundrum about the tree that falls in the forest. The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.”
― Annie Dillard
There is in all visible things an invisible fecundity, a dimmed light, a meek namelessness, a hidden wholeness. This mysterious Unity and Integrity is Wisdom, the Mother of all, Natura naturans. There is in all things an inexhaustible sweetness and purity, a silence that is a fount of action and joy. It rises up in wordless gentleness, and flows out to me from the unseen roots of all created being, welcoming me tenderly, saluting me with indescribable humility. This is at once my own being, my own nature, and the gift of my Creator’s Thought and Art within me, speaking as Hagia Sophia, speaking as my sister Wisdom.
I am awakened, I am born again at the voice of this my Sister, sent to me from the depths of the divine fecundity.
Merton, Thomas, from Emblems of a Season of Fury.
Grant me the ability to be alone;
may it be my custom to go outdoors each day
among the trees and grass – among all growing things
and there may I be alone, and enter into prayer,
to talk with the One to whom I belong.
May I express there everything in my heart,
and may all the foliage of the field –
all grasses, trees, and plants –
awake at my coming,
to send the powers of their life into the words of my prayer
so that my prayer and speech are made whole
through the life and spirit of all growing things,
which are made as one by their transcendent Source.
May I then pour out the words of my heart
before your Presence like water, O L-rd,
and lift up my hands to You in worship,
on my behalf, and that of my children!
Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav
To go out and walk silently in this wood – this is a more important and significant means to understanding, at the moment, than a lot of analysis and a lot of the reporting on things “of the spirit.”
Merton, Thomas, When the Trees say Nothing