Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Prayers pulled from a winter's walk



January 26, 2015

Walked Lynn out to her car this morning. On my way back the sun crested the forest’s horizon throwing long shadows north-west across the road at the river’s bend. Golden light shone in the white pines and snowy stretches as if it was radiating from within their branches and banks.

Yesterday mid-afternoon I walked up to the hill’s crest above the cabin. The same long shadows, reaching north-east this time, cut the snow field into swaths of white blanketing snow. The grey shadows striped the already sleeping snow reaching for the evening’s dark dreaming. But in the sun - a frozen crust of crystals were awake with colour.  Yellow, green, blue, red, silver and all shades between danced in celebration of this moment’s eternal joy.

I listened
the occasional bird song carried across the stillness
accompanied by sighing gentle winds in the branches as if responding in turn

I am wordless in prayer
my deep breathing matching footsteps chanting a path thru snow
with the other creatures’ ways and walks
squirrel tracks skitter only as deep as the last snow fall
coyote tracks criss-crossing in hunt of mice beneath the crust their tracks land on
deep deer - and even deeper moose trails – as deep as mine but with an eco-footprint much smaller, spread further apart and purposed on survival
while my big deep wide tromp tromp tromping tracks tell of a plodding hiker hunting only for god’s whisper in these mid-winter woods

I listen
slip sliding down to where two rivers join
to be mesmerized by black water’s urgent noiseless rust-yellow brimming
before falling to drum a thunder roll’s roar without end
and along the banks sparkling water’s bright gurgling rush
sings a melody in a language unwritten and unreasoned 
but still it tells a story – it pulls my story
from my broken open heart – pouring black fears over a timeless granite shelf to drum against in fury and lift just a spray of spirit’s hope
amidst the broiling wash - my wasted attempts at control
ideas spilling from chaotic head too full of indecipherable directions – too many – too jumbled to provide a sense of path except the inevitable falling pull of time’s current

and so are prayers pulled from within me
prayers I didn’t know how to say
questions I didn’t know how to ask
emotions I didn’t know how to feel
the earth, the wind, the water express
with only the sun to see

until I’m empty
until I’m lost and alone
until death and life meet
and finding rest
stilled,
soaking in the strong last rays of a winter’s sun’s calling
can begin to find my way to hearth and home again
mid-day, mid-winter, mid-life
where death meets life and makes room
for a moment like this

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