1000 beautiful ways to kiss the earth...

This Saturday, as the wedding of my blessed daughter took place to her beloved husband, an assorted group of strangers became one mystical body for a few moments. I am always stunned but sated whenever this sacred transformation takes place. Sometimes it happens in worship, but not always. I've tasted it at Springsteen and U2 concerts. Once it washed over me during an encounter with the Grateful Dead. I've been nourished by this blessing during moments of "centering prayer" at a monastery. And certainly I felt myself embraced by this phenomena on the night Barrack Obama won the 2008 presidential election and entered that park in Chicago.
Two very clear truths seem to come into focus whenever this happens: first, there are moments when beyond words, our hearts discover a love we hold in common that is more powerful than all our differences; and second, time as we usually know it evaporates until all that matters is now. As 70 of us stood before the 200 year old maple tree that became a canopy for this ceremony, I thought of one of the readings for Pentecost from Joel: I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old shall dream dreams and your young shall see visions. Even on the male and female slaves in those days, I will pour out my spirit.  I also thought of Psalm 90: a thousand years in thy sight, O Lord, are but as yesterday when it past.

It is only natural that my mind would turn to Scripture - that has been my rock and foundation for most of my adult life - so even when the wedding liturgy did not, I heard the whisper of the Sacred in the readings from Octavio Paz and A.A. Milne. They were perfect readings for this wedding and I loved them. As as they happened I realized one of the promises of Pentecost - that we will hear what is holy, beautiful and true in our own language - cuts through all our differences, yes? Rumi says that there are 1000 ways to kiss the earth and as Saturday's ceremony matured, we all bowed and honored the holy:  pagan, christian, jew, buddhist, foodie, young, old, gay or straight.

After yesterday's brunch, as the couple shared the afterglow of the feast with family and close friends, my heart was drawn to this poem by Robert Bly. It both conveys something of the timeless unity that washed over us as we showered the bride and groom with our love, and, speaks to the numinous knowledge that embraces this couple even beyond any awareness.

A man and a woman sit near each other, and the do

     not long
At this moment to be older, or younger, or born
In any other nation, or any other time, or any other
They are content to be where they are, talking or not
Their breaths together feed someone whom we do
     not know.
The man sees the way his fingers move;
He sees her hands close around a book she hand to
They obey a third body that they share in common.
They have promised to love that body.
Age may come; parting may come; death will come!
A man and a woman sit near each others;
As they breathe they feel someone we do not know,
Someone we know of, whom we have never seen.

As the sun was setting and I was cutting the grass before the rain, this song was playing in my heart...


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