Tiniest Fingers

Around the Feast of the Saints, celebrated by some churches on the Sunday after All Hallows Eve, I often think about my ancestors, and all those who have gone before me who have had an impact on my life in some way. At some point in this practice, I began to connect with my rootedness and ancestry in  a very literal way. I have always felt very connected to the trees that surround our home and they have begun to symbolically embody the spirit of my deceased friends and family members. I find this notion comforting and being amongst the trees offers me a sense of protection on a number of levels.

I created a walking labyrinth for prayer and meditation on our property for this reason, locating it in a circle of incredibly tall cedar trees. The space is very womb-like and when I am in its center, I feel nurtured and safe.

A couple of days before All Hallows Eve this year, my newest grandchild was born. He came rushing into the world two months early and was delivered by emergency surgery to protect both his life and the life of my daughter-in-law who had a very serious medical condition. The intensity of this event, and the absolutely beautiful outcome, gave me pause to think about all those little souls who never made it onto this plane, as well as all my ancestors and friends who lived long and productive lives, or had their lives cut short, and are no longer here.

Standing in the forest amongst the tall timbers, nature reminds me how precious life really is. Things you expect to live on forever suddenly perish, and miracles happen and life begins anew. I am so grateful for life, each breath I draw, every step I take and for my ancestors, my children and my grandchildren.

My grandson is a sermon in a very tiny package, and he preaches to me each day, all three pounds, eight ounces of his precious body teaches me just how little I know about this world. My response to this is similar to what  I suppose the Psalmist might have experienced as he or she took a pen to hand or musical instrument and voice, I can only sing praises to my God and Master.

A Psalm of the tallest trees

I sing to you my praises, O my Lord,

as I watch your tallest timbers quiver and bend.

They lean toward the ground, swaying ever so far.

As I marvel their strength to endure every gust,

I learn that it is you that have taught them this wind dance.

When I think that I know what my master has planned,

You topple your tallest trees, and upend someone’s home.

Roaring lion or howling gale storm; your mighty hand blesses.

I sing to you my praises, O my Lord,

as I witness parched desert dwellers, thirsty and tired

bend to drink from a dry stream bed. It is here that I learn

how you’ve taught the rocks to quench from just a trickle.

When I think I have figured out just how the stream flows,

then the banks of the little creek start to rage and flood

and a river takes its town; your mighty hand blesses.

I sing to you my praises, O my Lord,

when fear strikes my heart and mysteries abound,

for your lessons have taught me of your power and might.

And just when I am sure I know how vast you really are,

I watch as child is born, and you bend to kiss its cheek.

You breathe into its tiny lungs and make its eyes blink.

Ten little fingers curl round my heart and tug;

and I learn that what I know can never really be

much more than a little glimpse into your mastery.

Tiniest Fingers

 

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