Monday, August 30, 2010

Second of two

5. All day I watch the sky changing from blue to blue,
For You are forever
and I am like a single day that passes.
All day I think thanks for this world,
for the rocks and the tips of the waves,
for the tupelos and the fading roses.
For the wind.
For You are forever
while I am like a single day that passes.
You are the heart of the cedars of Lebanon
and the fir called Douglas,
the bristlecone, and the willow.

It's close to hopeless,
for what I want to say the red-bird
has said already, and better, in a thousand trees.

The white bear, lifting one enormous paw, has said it better.

You cannot cross one hummock or furrow but it is
His holy ground.

I had such a longing for virtue, for company.
I wanted Christ to be as close as the cross I wear.
I wanted to read and serve, to touch the altar linen.
Instead I went back to the woods where not a single tree turns its face away.

Instead I prayed, oh Lord, let me be something
useful and unpretentious.
Even the chimney swift sings.
Even the cobblestones have a task to do,
and do it well.

Lord, let me be a flower, even a tare; or a sparrow.
Or the smallest bright stone in a ring worn by someone brave and kind,
whose name I will never know.

Lord, when I sleep I feel you near.

When I wake, and you are already
wiping the stars away,
I rise quickly, hoping to be like your wild child
the rose, the honey-maker the honey-vine;
a bird shouting its joy as it floats
through the gift you have given us: another day.

Mary Oliver