Last night, an owl
In the blue dark tossed
an indeterminate number
of carefully shaped sounds into
the world, in which,
a quarter of a mile away, I happened
to be standing.
I couldn’t tell
which one it was –
the barred or the great-horned
ship of the air –
it was that distant. But, anyway,
aren’t there moments
that are better than knowing something,
and sweeter? Snow was falling,
so much like stars
filling the dark trees
that one could easily imagine
its reason for being was nothing more
than prettiness. I suppose
if this were someone else’s story
they would have insisted on knowing
whatever is knowable – would have hurried
over the fields
to name it – the owl, I mean.
But it’s mine, this poem of the night,
and I just stood there, listening and holding out
my hands to the soft glitter
falling through the air. I love this world,
but not for its answers.
And I wish good luck to the owl,
whatever its name –
and I wish great welcome to the snow,
whatever its severe and comfortless
and beautiful meaning.
When the sun rises, those who did not fear the night will be seen, still standing.
Quote and image taken from Steven Charleston
Life is grace. Sleep is forgiveness. The night absolves. Darkness wipes the slate clean, not spotless to be sure, but clean enough for another day’s chalking.
Frederick Buechner– The Alphabet of Grace.
Full and ever-present, tonight’s moon shines across the sky. A gift that comes with the beauty of autumn.
Transition seasons hold a certain truth about life. The spring brings the promise of renewal and new birth. Its bright color and gentle warmth draws creation out, emboldened and ready to explore. All timidness is thrown aside, when this energy of new life arrives.
The fall brings with it a quiet wisdom. It comes resolved to share its knowledge through images filled with color and the arrival of cooler air. There is no hesitation. Fall calls for proud attention as it prepares for winter’s rest.
The moon is shining bright – announcing this time of change. It will not hide or shrink as evening moves into night. This golden moon comes closer catching our attention as it fills the sky.
Fall’s beauty, be it day or night, invites us all to slow down and offer thanks. As creation begins to shed its summer skin, we are given the chance to be grateful. For all that has been and all that will be – may we take this time to give thanks in the glow of October’s moon.
In the evening shadows, when twilight pulls purple lace around the sleeping trees, I walk beneath gathering clouds with regret by my side. How many things I would have done differently. How many choices I would change. But before I reach the rise of the moon, I see lights begin to go on, house by house, each a firefly of hope in the darkness. Look up, look forward, they seem to say. Leave regret to itself and live now as you would have lived then. I turn for home, walking a little faster. It is not what we have been, but what we become, that separates the night from the day.
Darkness deserves gratitude.
It is the alleluia point at which we learn to understand
that all growth does not take place in the sunlight.
And so… in the darkness seeds safely wait for their time. In the darkness nightmares are experienced and freedom can be gained.
Time may seem to slow where light is scarce but most new life requires the somber silence of deep night.
This passing night bears witness to the ultimate miracle as we witness the birth of new life. New life appearing from the hold of death’s darkness.
As dawn begins to raise her light on the distant horizon be prepared for life changing moments – where our greatest dream might swirl in the chaos of disbelief.
Already awake and prepared to face death’s horror, the women wait for the first sign of dawn. They will follow the path to the tomb that has quietly held the body of their beloved – of God’s beloved. If there was any hint of gratitude in their hearts it may have come as they watched the last moments of their Sabbath pass. Gratitude may have sparked as they heard the first note of the morning bird’s song.
How could they have been any more prepared? Arriving to offer their cleansing love, the darkest of night has rolled away leaving the soft light of morning to proclaim new life.
His is risen. The Alleluia moment has arrived. Darkness did not win. No- it only served as an incubator for within it life was being reclaimed.
The women’s duty had been redirected. They had witnessed an empty tomb and heard the Angels proclaim that He had risen. Life has overcome death and God’s good news would be spread throughout the world.
The moment has arrived! The first notes of the morning bird proclaims this news. Christ has risen. The news will spread quickly and soon all of creation will be filled with the song of Alleluia.
Welcome happy morning!!
(photo and quote from Network of Grateful Living)