Come away with me and stand a while in the great sanctuary.
There is no vault above, held by pillars of stone,
only blue sky framed by thick rough trunks and arches of green.
Beneath our feet, feel the soft carpet of last year’s leaves
resting on the moist soil and its billion microbes, forever regenerating.
Listen to the native choirs:
the red winged blackbirds practicing their scratchy notes in the slough,
the pounding woodpecker and the complaining crows.
Watch the squirrels take their Eucharist of acorns,
then stand still as any holy statue.
Let’s hope to see the white tailed buck,
all his senses tuned to the revelations of the realm.
In time, we will return to the world of people,
of cars and homes and jobs.
We’ll watch the bitter news of the day.
We’ll bravely try to understand that world,
and we’ll tender our care to others as best we can.
For we are humans and the human world is ours.
But, for now, let’s take for our pew this decomposing trunk.
Let’s commune undistracted by walls or roofs or printed hymns.
For here we find only the verdant earth,
mother yet virgin, constant but ever moving;
and here, we know from where we come and where we at last must go.