you give of yourself
the universe is grateful
the world sighs and smiles

—Paul Causey


A galaxy coils.
It echoes 
in nautilus, in the spiral of our ear
in the sunflower's seeds curving and crossing.

As above, so below
say the ones before us.
The whirlwind curves round,
and the fern.

And what of longing?
Why does my dog gaze out the window
when I am gone, 
the child lift her arms to be held?
Does the bee long for the flower,
the wave for the shore?

I gaze at the hills
as light falls across them
and slowly fades.
What is this hidden land,
this pattern above us in the night? 

When I stop, when I feel it,
it is sad but also sweet.
It reaches curious--
it wants to kiss and hold,
it flows out, cups my hands tenderly. 

So above, so below.
Does the swirl of stars reach tenderly,
the pear hold out its fruit, tenderly
Who are you?

Rocks burn with this fire, waves rise,
the fox curls round her young,
I quieten, listening,
all of us asking
where are you? what are you?
will you come, will you
come at last?

—Sarah Webb

All the things I cannot know

All the things I will never know, I will never know and in my not knowing, I am comforted and consoled by all the things I have known and can know.  There is no sadness in my not knowing, for there is unbounded joy in that which I am blessed to know.  I cannot expect to be a glorious, blooming flower but I can bloom where I am planted.   I get to be part of this natural world in ways I could not have imagined – living in the mountains, in the desert, by a river, near the woods, on a lake.  Having feasted in all the seasons as well as on the seasons of my life, I am humbled and bowed in gratitude.

Today I saw fresh cow parsley as green as green can be on this first day of December as I walked on the trail.  The cows had been there and left patties of thanks too.  I walk through the trees, watching the leaves fall and accumulate, die and decay and then provide food for new plants and growth next Spring.  The birds are fewer and they will return soon in greater numbers, small and large, colorful and camouflaged.  The vermilion flycatcher stays and flashes his red coat so we recognize him.

As one of the creatures who inhabit this natural world, I sense my place in it, not as a blooming flower in all its glory but rather as a species able to describe where I am, who I am, what my place is and how I am to be in these sacred moments.  Yes, sacred because, like the one who said he sees through a glass dimly and then face to face, I see Creator Spirit where I look and, like Denise Levertov said, being in the orchard, being hungry and tasting the fruit. That is one of a thousand sacred moments that are given to us every day.

When I move from the common and ordinary to the uncommon and extraordinary, that’s a good moment in time and that happens often and comes in many forms.  Sometimes it is a slight shift in perception, sometimes it is a big shift in movement. Some are planned, some are not.  The latter ones I file under surprised by Grace.  

—Gary Gruber

Stop and Go



a constellation of sorrows 
and terrors: 

repellent: a tally 
of ravages unscreamed. 

traces of shame, 
averted from my kind, 
shocking in glimpses:
how? how can this be 
what I have become? 

a text in red and pink 
and brown; a score 
of devil's tones: 
augmented rages;
flatted fists. 

were you to read
this tracery in braille—
eyes closed 
and open heart—
you would come 
to know your soul 
and how 
at last 
to love. 

—Genéve Gil


Snowfall crept in with night
and bathed my waking
in unearthly light,
casting ice into the morning air,
refracting, refracting. 

Trees sugared like 
Viennese crescent cookies,
boughs adorned in elegant 
lace brocade. 

Delicate stars winking
in their constellations 
amid twigs,
naming their place in the
wholeness of being. 

And my heart, alive:
is it not wondrous
to meet death as a miracle? 

—Genéve Gil