Already the day was warm, the morning
veiled in fog, dense and brilliant.
Coffee in hand, I floated dreamily
out to front porch to take the measure
of the day . The damp air wrapped
itself around my bare arms, chilling
them, sending a little shiver down
my spine. A glistening brightness
caught my eye, a snowflake,
of all things, floating across the top
of the milk pail. I took it as a sign.
Even here, on July’s final day,
Christmas was still singing.
At the spillway, waters that sometimes cascade
in great, roaring veils barely trickle. Fishes
gather in the low, cool pools, waiting for a rain
to open a wider field of play. Some venture
the downstream swim to the lake, the brave ones.
Tomorrow, the suited men in their air-conditioned
studios proclaim, we’ll have thunderstorms
and half an inch of rain may fall. There goes
our picnic, mothers moan in their cool kitchens.
It’s all a trade-off. The fish will be glad.
Joy comes in sprinkles, a drop of dew,
sunlight dancing on the ripples of a lake,
an infant’s smile, a lover’s wink. It’s here
and gone, a flash of delight to salt
our usual hours. And the usual,
Yes knows, all too often contains pain
in all its myriad forms. We fear,
we worry, we suffer, we grieve;
it’s part of the package, part of the price
of being human in an unfinished world.
So joy comes to lift us, to give us a fresh
breath of hope. But there is more.
More constant than joy, and nearer,
deeper and higher than hope,
the Yes unfolds its tenderness,
and holds us in its arms. Always,
Little holders of the sunshine,
drinking it in, beaming it out,
showing by living example
what we all can be—
merry, making the best of it,
whatever comes, radiating
gladness, happy simply
We spent this day much as
we spend them all. We dreamed
our dreams, attended to our tasks
and needs, and, if we were lucky,
laughed, loved, served, and expressed
a measure of kindness and compassion.
And now, as the day’s final hours close,
the sky sings its Amen, to bless us,
to raise us above our ordinary hours,
to assure us that, regardless
of what we did or failed to do,
all is well, and we are loved.
Don’t forget to laugh.
Look, even Nature has her sense of whimsy,
flowers wearing lavender clown hair
for instance, just for the delight of bees.
And the bees themselves, of course,
built so they shouldn’t even be able
to fly, but bumbling anyway.
The scratching of chickens, the honks
of geese, the poses of the cat.
Oh yes. We have silliness here
by the bucketsful, just for our delight.
And because we all look so grand
with our mouths full wide with smiles.
When you consider the vastness
of it all—the nebulae and galaxies
flung across the deep and infinite sky,
even the towering of mountains
and clouds—and then turn
your gaze on the intricate details
in the center of a tiny flower,
of the swirled fingerprints
of a baby’s hands, and then think
how even those dwarf the particles
of which they’re made, and then
consider that you are, somehow,
capable, in your shadowy way,
of comprehending it all,
how can you not be suspended
in wonder at the mystery and beauty
of the Yes and its song!
The green dream of summer
envelopes us now, its radiance
penetrating our cells, filling
our lungs, swimming through
our veins. This sun-born gift,
this carrier of life, sustains us,
feeding us with the song of Yes,
refreshing us with its liquid grace.
It is enough. It is all we need.
My eyes gather flowers
as if this will be my last sight
of them. I cannot get enough.
Already, along the roadsides, chicory
waltzes with Queen Anne’s lace.
If I blink, goldenrod will fill
the fields. This seeming speed
of passing seasons is not due,
I think, to my advancing years alone.
Events beyond the flowers hurtle
toward the long winter, too.
I gather precious blossoms,
feeding my soul with them.
When the season of darkness
finally falls, I will be telling
the story that begins with
once upon a time
there were flowers.
Sometime early last spring, someone
pushed a fingertip of earth aside,
took a flat little seed from her hand,
and placed it in the indentation.
She covered it with the same dirt
that her finger had displaced,
gave it a loving little pat, a smile,
and a little drink of water.
That’s all. One little act of faith,
of hope, of trust. Weeks passed.
A green sprout pushed through
the shell of the seed, through
the soil, reaching for the light,
and finding it, reached higher,
and multiplied a thousand cells
to make leaves, and more thousands
to make a bud that opened
into a beautiful flower whose
bright petals radiated their joy
and sang Thank You! Thank You!