“go easy…be filled with light…and shine”

I love this poem by Mary Oliver. She has such a way of condensing light, as if the writing itself is a baptism, where poet and reader emerge swept clean.

“When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”

Last week I looked out my window after a wind storm, and my two gorgeous, lyrical willow shrub trees were flat on the ground. I ran out there to find that they had not broken, but were bent at the bottom where the stakes ended. They were literally flat on the ground but not broken, split, or strained. I propped them up, got new stakes, secured them upright. There were no complaints. They moved willingly. They offer their blossoms with joy.

At the church service mentioned in my last post, a baby named Aislyn was being baptized. She was such a peaceful baby, and you could feel the community’s love surrounding her. The pledge to support her journey through life, brought to mind Jesus’ conversation with  Nicodemus, where he tells him that we must be born again: “Unless a person submits to this original creation—the ‘wind-hovering-over-the-water’ creation, the invisible moving the visible, a baptism into a new life—it’s not possible to enter God’s kingdom.” John 3, The Message

I was moved by the love, commitment and vision for this child: baptizing, washing her in the light of Christly love; grounding her on the rock of faith. It’s something to see an entire church community stand up and together pledge  to watch over, guide,  and love this baby throughout her life.

It was a joy to share in this child’s baptism; it was a reminder of what a difference it can make to nurture, love, and stand up for the good in others. To see the community around us in God’s light, and to love it.

I’ve always loved how the teachings of Christian Science define baptism as a “Purification by Spirit; submergence in Spirit.” (Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy) It’s given me a sense of the  nearness of God, the ever-present availability of redemption, and the nurturing presence of Spirit to cleanse, purify, refresh, and restore my every moment.

Coupled with Ainslie’s baptism, I have a deepened sense of how much we are all continually immersed, cherished, watched over and held in the infinite love of God. Our awareness of this brings peace both for ourselves and the people we meet everywhere. Oliver puts it so perfectly:

“Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”

“For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” Isaiah 55:12

“the name of the place is Love”

the light is so bright…so bright…i can’t contain it…

blinding, searing, this great light…

light so bright…blinding light…

light, light, light of the world

fierce, threatening, illumining light

tell me, tell me what to do with this light

light that insists…spills through cracks

pursues you.

light.

will not be denied

cannot be fled from

light that names you

claims you

holds you

will not relent.

surrender my dear

surrender…

light is here…

has named you

framed you

and sends you forth as some

great, gentle, fierce

offering.

jacob wrestling with the angel (Genesis 32:24…)

would not let it go

till it blessed him.

just to be sure

he asked its name…

nameless hand of heaven

smiles upon us

urging urging urging

claiming us

for its own.

some grace tracing

the edges of our lives

singing forth the sound

of some sacred song.

sing darling sing

the air is singing around you

arms, light, very breath

pulsing with the praise, peace, promise

this now

run, run, run

to it

run, run, run

for it

your life is shameless

fetterless

exclamation

blessed

said

known

adored

approved

waited on

sheltered in haven

heaven hands holding

waving applauding

o silent chorus

of song

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

i love this poem by lucille clifton, it captures the sentiment:

flowers

here we are

running with the weeds

colors exaggerated

pistils wild

embarrassing the calm family flower        oh

here we are

flourishing for the field

and the name of the place

is Love

~~~~~~~~~~~

“Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day..” I Thessalonians 5:5

~~~~~~~~~~~~

“…love, unselfed, knocks more loudly than
ever before at the heart of humanity and…finds
admittance; that revelation, spiritual voice and vision,
are less subordinate to material sight and sound and more
apparent to reason; that evil flourishes less, invests less
in trusts, loses capital, and is bought at par value; that
the Christ-spirit will cleanse the earth of human gore;
that civilization, peace between nations, and the brother‐
hood of man should be established, and justice plead not
vainly in behalf of the sacred rights of individuals, peoples,
and nations.” Mary Baker Eddy