TODAY’S MESSENGER IN THE GARDEN
TODAY’S MESSENGER IN THE GARDEN
that causes the grasses to laugh with the joy of life.
I call forth tears.
I am the yearning for good.
Hildegard von Bingen – circa 1140
My grief overflows at sunrise this morning. I find comfort today knowing that I am waiting in the same place as this remarkable woman, and being held by our same earth mother.
It has been a week of unimaginable chaos in this country after the inauguration of Donald Trump. It seems that anything I write will not even touch the acute heartbreak of our land. This is not “building,” this is willful destruction, a volcanic eruption, a tearing down of the foundational norms of human decency. By the time the book I am presently writing is published, history will have unfolded in ways beyond imagining. All we need is grace for today. This Sunday morning I light a candle from a deeper place, below the tears of outrage and sorrow lies a profound yearning for good. Without any shadow of doubt the Holy arises from there.
She has arrived in my garden as Great Blue Heron. She stands fishing in the water-garden – I witness her from my desk. Usually herons come silently; then flying off with a mighty stokes like an ancient pterodactyl. This juvenile is determined and curiously, she is clearly unafraid of me. I’ve been meditating on the round bench on the other side of the pond watching her fish. Completely mesmerizing. I have named her Hildegard because she has come as a visitation to teach me about the ‘greening’ of our lives. She arrived on the day when I am shattered about the decisions being made that threaten our global greening. She is a sent one – an angel shimmering in blue-grey feathers and dagger-like bill. We must hear her story.
The complicating thing is that our winter pond is now shrouded by a net, so after spearing a goldfish she must pry it up through a hole she is forced to make in the net. It’s double work – she must be hungry. Alas for the net, alas for the goldfish. She didn’t give a thank you for a few frozen shrimp I proffered. Part of me wants to shoo her away – “enough already my friend – don’t be greedy.” Another part of me knows she has more to say.
A shadow floats across us both and we both look up at the red-tailed hawk gyrating in slow circles above us. Now she flapping and poking her head into the leaves attempting to scare fish out into the open. I wonder what my role is today – is there really enough food to go around for all of us? Goldfish multiply fast but not with a resident hungry predator. The higher an animal is on the food chain the more thoughtful attention we as humans need to provide – so I’m opting to let her fish her heart out. Her dance is magnificent to behold. Maybe being a loving witness is the best I can be. No fixing this conundrum.
I know how environmentally disrupting nets and fences can be for a smooth-running ecosystem. I can’t even fathom what might occur if we built a wall across our southern border. Somehow all of us humans must learn the complicated art of compromise, learn to share a little bit more of our loaves and fishes, maybe work more than usual. Whatever -after all it’s only our lunch – and not our life.
Yesterday she held her place in the circle from our roof, as I write this moment she flew in again! Thank you Hildegard for your presence. The past, the present and thus hope for the future. Spirit arrives in flesh to remind us God is waiting here… with us. Immanuel alive in so many incarnate ways.
The pond is hard frozen like our president’s politics- I wonder how we all find our way together?