Take a bow

The trees with their deep roots know.
The birds who have migrated far see things.
If you think it the other way round, that is your learning,
but: they who know the deep darknesses,
who have threaded those maps, they have seen
already the new life rising in you,
the stone-freed tomb opened,
and they have burst into applause,
and that is what all this is,
the improbable fling and flaunt of spring,
unabashed unfurling of ferns in their nakedness,
outrageous display of every twig’s finery,
outlandish vim of blossom and feather
and song flitting among the black trunks—
it’s all celebration of what they’ve seen in you.
The cycle of life is natural, deserving no congratulations,
but this divine uprising in you is astonishing,
and inspires them no end.
The brave little shoots shoving up
through soil, through stone, insistently, yes,
they’re green with envy of the unfolding in you.
The whole woods are astounded,
standing on their chairs clapping and shouting,
throwing bouquets of flowers to you.
Even at night you can hardly sleep
for the roar of the crowd of stars, cheering and cheering.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

   —May 3, 2019

Belt around you

         When you were younger,
         you used to fasten your own belt
         and to go wherever you wished.
         But when you grow old,
         you will stretch out your hands,
         and someone else will fasten a belt around you
         and take you where you do not wish to go.

                           —John 21.18

You made your way through this world,
straight when the path curved,
diverging when you chose,
taking the road not taken, smug,
this was your path, the way of youth,
to choose and to go.
But now another courage is demanded of you,
to submit, to renounce all willfulness,
to be led. Not by circumstance, but hands
seeking you, making their way
through circumstance.
How strange that this encounter,
outside your control, beyond your plan,
leading to unchosen places, this loss
would be the Friend. How odd that such diversion
would lead you to places of divine choosing,
might bring you where you need to be.

Do you feel the belt around you?
Can you walk gently enough to follow the tug?
Will you come?

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

 ―May 2, 2019

Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance

It’s easy, really.
You don’t have to do anything at all.
First you just don’t care. That’s it.
A shooting, some graffiti, whatever.
Be a little sorry, sure. But just.
Then let it side. Practice indifference.
When you get good at not caring
you realize how easy it is to justify it.
You’ve got a life, right? Besides, you know
there’s a reason it happens to “those people…”
And if you can justify their suffering,
it’s not a whole step— really just a shuffle,
to actually recommend it.
And then before you know it you promote it.
And then, bingo.
The ovens just light themselves.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

   —May 1, 2019

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