Photo: Kelley Mooneyham
So many voices speaking..
competing to capture our attention..
We seem to endlessly seek a voice
that speaks deeply to our own.
There was a time when the rhythm and breath
of our life
was united with the life force of all creation..
Farmer and Earth
Plant and Gardener
Sky and Spirit
Sea and Soul
There was a time when everything around us..
taught us everything we needed to know.
The tree and the flower
bow gracefully in the wind..
while the horse and hawk ride with it
each teaching the wisdom of living
in balance and harmony
with all things..
A step into each day..
was a step into a vast field
of unity and interdependence..
Earth and creatures
created by the same Breath of Life
to breathe as one..
the voice of each speaking depth to depth
offering a mystical connection to the Sacred.
And when all breath left the human body,
the body of the earth welcomed her friend
into the heart of their common home..
And there, the stardust in the human soul
becomes a light beam
and re-unites with the light of Infinite Love..
The rhythm of the seasons and the universe..
prepared the human spirit for the same journey.
Wisdom taught our ancestors
to gratefully receive the gifts of one season..
while attentive hope in the certainty of change
comforted fear and doubt in seasons of darkness.
As awareness of our sacred connection
to the natural world has weakened,
so has our ability to hear and sense
the Spirit of God and the mystery of life
gently whispering and offering,.
a personal presence
of beauty, love
hope and companionship.
Although created and sustained by this same Spirit,
humans now rarely acknowledge
the symbiotic relationship
with all that exists..
And like the human experience,
the spirit of a common bond is awakened,
as the voice of suffering permeates the air.
Voice can be seen
Voice can be heard,
when nothing is being said
Voice can be felt,
when everything is gone.
The voice of the human and natural world
is united once again
in the haunting
whimper, cry and guttural roar
of agony and suffering.
Here we lie stunned..
in a field of grief, loss
unwitting recipients of the pain and suffering of
Viruses meant to live deep in the forest..
ravage the unsuspecting human
grasping for land and earth
meant for other creatures.
Trees burned alive
unable to run..
The plume of their pain
choking the air we breathe
taking the sky from soul and sight..
driving us from our homes and
the land we love.
Surging water propelled by the sea’s raging fever
drowns us in a sense of despair and hopelessness
as our lives flood.
We sift through the aftermath
while the water recedes..
giving little time before
the next wave arrives.
The voice of our jobs, families, friends..
those in need
those working tirelessly
to protect and care for us,
the cycle of life and death continues..
whether we’re ready or not.
The trauma has accumulated..
as the rhythm of the expected is shattered.
Our ability to hold and carry..
to comprehend and process..
And we have to let go..
because we’re not quite sure what and how much
we are meant to carry.
Who catches our breath when we lose it?
We are living in moments
that feel like lifetimes.
and attentiveness teaches..
that the same wind that brings the storm..
also carries it out to sea.
the smoke plume that obscures our vision..
shifts and lifts..
revealing the light that never left us.
The Spirit that created the earth
and every being in it..
is the same Spirit that heals and brings new life
when any life force dims and dies.
The God that created all
from a heart of Love..
holds all that is created
in One Love..
and when one heart breaks..
the heart of God breaks.
So if you pray
a wordless prayer
in a broken heart
for yourself, for others..
for the earth..
you open yourself
to an experience
of a deeper Presence..
you pray inside the heart of God..
and God prays inside you.
God’s dream for peace and love..
for beauty and good things for all..
didn’t die on a cross.
God resurrected the place of beauty,
the place of peace,
the person of Love..
into Spirit that breathes new life
and walks in every moment with every living thing.
You may not believe it..
you may not perceive it..
however, you will experience it..
and every day…
when help arrives..
when the clouds lift..
when the wind calms..
and when voices reunite..
The ancient story..
we may find hard to believe..
until we feel it rising
within and around us..
Our breath returns
bringing new life
carrying wisdom and understanding,
strength and courage,
patience and healing..
Creature and Creation..
Awakened in hope
touched by the Love of ever-present Light
And the eternal cycle of dying and rising again.
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© Chris Donovan
Chris Donovan is a frequent speaker on Scripture and Spirituality. She holds a Master of Theology (Th.M.) and a Post-Master's Certificate in Spiritual Formation from Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, as well as a Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.) from Weston Jesuit School of Theology. Chris is an associate member of the Catholic Biblical Association and of the Carmelite Contemplative Community of Reno, Nevada.