Sunday, July 12, 2009


Today was simply perfect in the Berkshires: sunny, breezy, no humidity and a lush crop of flowers and vegetables everywhere. Yesterday I shared a beer with my daughter and her husband after a two year journey through limbo. One day, it seems, the anger and hurt was over so we met in a little pub and got caught up on all we had missed. It was so sweet to see her smile and hear their stories of life and growing in love. And it was healing for my soul - a balm in Gilead - the blessing I was aching for but didn't know I needed.

Worship built on these blessings: there was openness rather than fear, welcome and hospitality (incomplete to be sure) rather than "tradition" and a pick-up gospel choir that sang the pants off "Down to the River to Pray." And my guest organist rocked the house with a version of "Every Time I Feel the Spirit" that literally shook the rafters! More healing balm for what ails us.

Then a 50th birthday party with a new friend, the first wedding anniversary of daughter #1 and watching "The Kite Runner" with my precious wife. Tears flowed as the story unfolded about how fear and redemption are so intricately woven. Mary Oliver's new poem, "Another Summer Begins" came to mind:

Summer begins again.
How many
do I still have?
Not a worthy question,

I imagine.
Hope is one thing,
gratitude another
and sufficient

unto itself.
The white blossoms of the shad
have opened
because it is their time

to open,
the mockingbird
is raving
in the thornbush.

How did it come to be
that I am no longer young
and the world
that keeps time

in its own way
has just been born?
I don't have the answers
and anyway I have become suspicious

of such questions,
and as for hope,
that tender advisement,
even that

I'm going to leave behind.
I'm just going to put on
my jacket, my boots,
I'm just going to go out
to sleep
all this night
in some unnamed, flowered corner
of the pasture.
Mary Oliver, "Another Summer Begins," Evidence, Beacon Press: Boston, 2009.

So another Sabbath comes to a close and I am filled with gratitude...


SGF said...

The Gospel group was awesome....they sang with joy and it made me smile!!!

Black Pete said...

Permit me a moment of envy, RJ.. :)

Rev Nancy Fitz said...

A poem to make my day, thanks.

summertime is half over...

A gentle rain is falling in the Berkshire hills this morning. Already it feels like a day of contemplation and quiet rest. There was a Fac...