If your heart weighs heavy
for the part you played,
willingly or not, in the suffering
of another, behold this grace.
Let its compassion bathe
your soul and restore you.
Your own suffering only doubles
that which was done.
Let the grace of the Yes transform you
and embrace you as its child,
whole, and joy-filled, dancing
in love’s miraculous air.
* * *
[Note: The Legend of the Dogwood--In Jesus’ time, the Dogwood tree had grown to a great size, like that of an Oak tree! They used it to build the cross that Jesus was hung on. This made the Dogwood tree sad. Jesus, sensing this sadness, promised the Dogwood tree that it would never again grow large enough to build a cross. It’s branches would be narrow and crooked-not good for building at all. And now the Dogwood tree has many traits to remember this promise. The Dogwood flower has 4 petals, shaped like a cross. The middle of the Dogwood flower, a crown of thorns. At the edge of each petal, a nail dent appears, stained with the color of Jesus’ blood. So that is the Legend of the Dogwood Flower.]
there be light;
there be joy;
there be risings;
there be clapping
there be laughter;
there be wonder;
there be song;
there be love;
there be May.
April rode in on a snowy steed
whose breath was frosty and cold.
Frightened at such an unexpected
sight, all the baby buds withdrew,
shivering, the life force frozen
within them. But when April,
whose heart is made of kindness,
descended to the ground,
her step was warm and soft,
and she flung her lavender cape
across the land, and sang
her springtime song. And the buds
were reassured and their life force
rose to her musical call. And they
opened, and opened, and opened
until all the earth was drenched
in their colors, and dancing
with their joy. And wee birds
sang and built nests in the branches,
and April, laughing, rode away.
As I was saying, except for their intrinsic joy
over the privilege of being–and it is that,
you know: a privilege–flowers are untouched
by the weight of human emotions. They live
simply to blossom, to fulfill the blueprint
that informs them. But the Beloved Yes,
whose infinite symphony gives rise
to the patterns of everything that is, knows
all the strains the human heart can sing,
even the wailings and the dirges. And so,
on a fine spring morning, you may find
these love notes from the Yes, bleeding hearts,
drawn from the very source of compassion,
saying to you: Be of good cheer, my children,
for you are supported. I understand. I know.
And you are dearly loved.
Unlike flowers, who know only joy
and whose tenderness is unfailing,
we who dwell in human skins
know such things as cruelty,
grief, pain, and loss. And that
is why the flowers are tender
and why they whisper joy:
to comfort us and remind us
that even in our darkest days,
we are deeply loved.
Bluebells always make me think
that they were made for inhabitants
of some finer, invisible dimension.
Perhaps they wake fairies just as the dew
is forming in the morning, or softly
ring in the nurseries of cherubs
to make them coo. They seem
too tender for this world, yet
here they are, blossoming
on the roadside, as casual
as any dandelion, as if
we, imagine that, deserved them.
“Nothing’s more beautiful,” you said,
“than a field of dandelions.” Well,
here’s one, just for you, with a frosting
of apple trees on top, dancing as if
they were the Rockettes, opening
another spectacular show. Kind of
makes you glad, just to be here,
doesn’t it? Kind of makes you want
to burst into wild applause, whistle
through your fingers, throw your hat
into the air in pure joy.
Wouldn’t you say?
Come, sit with me and watch the trees
offering petals to the sky. See how easily
they ride the breeze, how gently they sail,
like pastel ships, across the water.
Have you ever known more peace?
Mornings like this kind of balance
everything out, let you remember
that, truly, all is well.
Drench me in your color.
God knows the months
without it were far too long.
So you come, slaking my thirst,
pouring your hues into my soul,
drawing forth its ecstatic Yes.
Remember, remember, they whisper,
that I, too, was a star, shining for my moments
in the world, beaming my light, singing
my song. Like you, I smiled and cried,
I loved and lost, I walked alone and
with sweet companions. I toiled
at my work, I savored my leisure.
I wondered at the great mystery of it all.
I drank both of suffering and pleasure.
I gave it all that I could give. And I would do
it all again. I walked before you.
I walk with you still. Forget me not.
Remember me kindly. Remember.