We now have bird feeders in the backyard. First, there was one feeder, but it multiplied, and now the multiplying feeders are moving onto the deck. One, an orange ceramic owl, hangs from the beam and requires the squirrels to stretch from the post to feast. Never one to pay much attention to birds, nonetheless, they draw me in. During this Holy Week, they remind me of all that is holy, and of a line from the poet, Mary Oliver, “But I thought, of the wren’s singing, what could this be if it isn’t a prayer?”1
Holy Week began last Sunday, Palm Sunday and will end on Saturday night. These days offer an opportunity for reflection and prayer. How fragile life is, yet how holy. This is a time the wren’s singing, a time for loving and healing and rebirth.
The Rev. Anna Blaedel shared this poem in “Moments for Common Nourishment.” May it remind us that being alive is a gift, and may we let love flow into the world.
Loving is sharing in beauty.
Living is sharing in the earth’s great cycles--life and death, crucifixion and resurrection, germination and bloom, sorrow and wonder and solace.
Our sorrow is deep. Our connection, pulsing too.
Practicing resurrection is recognizing the love that flows through the heart of the world.
Being alive is a gift. Tuning into life is a practice.
Breathe deep. Pull oxygen and Spirit into your lungs. Breathe deep. Again. Inhale. Exhale. Receive. Release.
Listen to birdsong. Hear the birds greet the day. Hear them greet you.
Watch flowers bloom. Feel the slow pace of growth. Mind the difference one day can make.
Find a tree. Touch it. Lean against it. Offer thanks. Remember your roots reach deep, too. You, too, can root down and rise up.
Find softness. Seek it. Wrap it around you. Let it soften you, too. Softness soothes, and strengthens.
Stay up late. Or wake up early. Whatever your rhythm for resting in the dark. Invite its depth to enfold you in mystery and dream.
Light candles. Watch the flame dance. Move toward warmth.
Wrap your arms around yourself. Hold precious you, being held.
Drink water. Make tea. Taste the sweetness, and the grief. Replenish your tears.
List the beauty you encounter within you. List the beauty you encounter around you. Believe in it.
Place seeds in soil. Wait, and watch, patient and expectant, for what is yet becoming.
Listen to the rhythm of your heartbeat. Sing along to your pulse.
Rub lotion into your skin. Linger anywhere that hurts. Gentle, gentle your care.
Say “I love you.” To yourself. To the world. To anything and everyone helping you stay alive, and tuned into life. Listen for love, in all the ways it sings and resounds back to you.
May it be so.
1) Oliver, Mary. Devotions (p. 47). Penguin-Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.