Trembling

A couple of hours ago
I witnessed a teacher of
art lying upon hard ground
offering water by way
of an eyedropper to a
tiny trembling fledgling and
therein saw the painting of
the vast Universe of Life

A couple of hours ago
I witnessed a teacher of
art seated in a circle
to gift facilitation
by way of meditation
and suggestion to a small
fledgling community and
therein saw grace flow therefrom

Water in the Órgiva Mountains

This quiet house is home
to hearts and souls who will
readily recognise
graced metaphor in a
lesson or two or more
about irrigation

This quiet house affords
shade and warmth and tender
trust and comfort and great
courage and laughter and
depth and healing in her
quiet way of speaking

This quiet house breathes deep
as we dance and sing and
reach with liberated
joy beneath shooting stars
and soft-painted music
and love found here as ours

This quiet house hears the
jasmine in the silent
music who hosts a stave
of notes and scents and the
echoes familiar if
for a space forgotten

This quiet house smiles with
openness and a glad
willingness to be led
by a heart to his heart
where connection is heard
albeit unspoken

This quiet house senses
fragrance in green and in
earthenware and water
and breathes that she and he
are you and me who are
Cortijo Romero

Observed

photo at pexels

I am glad to have been described
as ‘always enthusiastic’
by an energetic nine year
old who observes and then reflects
with her keen and critical care –
perhaps she has noticed that I
enthusiastically find
life-enhancing gifts in cupboards
drawers and nooks and crannies and
answers and more questions to my
frequent asking ‘why?’ – and in the
wondering I’m encouraged to
journey into heart and mind where
reminded of countless graces
I touch core spirit and soul in
all of us – infinite and kind

Promise

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It’s wonderfully warm and the garden that seemed a bit sad and wintry a few weeks ago has once again become a celebration of tender shoots – and all serenaded by a cacophany of birdsong. Year after year I meditate upon this cyclical wonder – life called forth to Spring, Summer and Autumn from the various ‘tombs’ of Winter which, for its part, has provided the season of mulching and rest that, time and again, enables promised fruitfulness. And I catch myself joining the birds – singing!

Notre Dame’s Universal Watch

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Cherry blossoms and Spring joy are chief among memories of our last visit to Paris. Courage, fear, flame and heart-stopping toppling spire are chief among my most recent. For years we’ve stayed only a five minute walk away, so early pre-breakfast visits to the Quire of Notre Dame became for us a norm.

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And here – among literally millions of others through the ages – we sensed Our Lady Universe quietly watching and waiting with her catholic comprehension. We sensed perpetual presence and self-giving; we knew the one who waits sometimes at the foot of her Son’s cross – indeed at the foot of countless ‘crosses,’ and the Great Soul who, even when her Heart is torn and rent asunder, glows warm without and forever within – the very universal life-bringing breath of God.

Here is our Mother. Yours and mine. Be we people of faith or of no faith. Be we people of particular faith or of no particular faith. Be we ‘hill and vale and tree and flower’ – here is our abiding, giving, suffering, watching, waiting Universal Mother: Notre Dame. Here is the one who births Christos – Anointed – embodied in each of us, inspired and held, and holding, eternally, in the ‘Everlasting Arms’ of the Creator of All Things.

Some will understand, in every age, that, whether showered with cherry blossom or the sparks of destruction, there’s a divinely assayed gold * at the Heart of her. Notre Dame lives on and on and on. And She re-members us as we re-member her: in all, everywhere, everyday. Look upon this gold at her heart – shining in the very midst of disorder and gloom – and never be afraid of the power – indeed the life-giving bread – that is universal metaphor.

I know of her in Nazareth. I feel her in my soul’s depths. I hear her in the prayerful singing of her children as they struggled to respond to the sight of their own heritage on fire in Paris. And as they’ve struggled, throughout history, to respond to the ‘Crucified,’ ‘outside the city walls,’ and also – in every age – elsewhere. I see her now in my neighbour. I pray for and with her in the frame of a friend and poet who is a grieving – but also life-giving – mother. I touch her in ordinary, everyday contact with our planet and her peoples. I awaken to her in and through the passing of scents and nanoseconds, years and aeons. Yes: the Theotokos of history, of all that has been and will be, and of the here and now; Theotokos, the God-bearer, lives and persists in Parisian stone showered even today by cherry blossoms – and in you, and in me.

Notre Dame bénie vit!

*assayed gold: something precious – tested for its ingredients and quality