Friday, August 12, 2011

Bay Grasses (Psalm 90:4-6)

The tall bay grasses, with their roots
entwined around salt-water mussels
and their leaves parted for
the occasional white egret's nest,
silently mark their time
by the ocean's tides:
watermarks of highs and lows,
faded lines of flourishing and despairing,

evidence of being alternately
overwhelmed and exposed
every six hours.
I marvel at their life lines
and think that I cannot help but do the same:
to chart both past and future
by the joys and failures,
the deaths and births,
the lows and highs,
the holding fast and the letting go.
Have I told you, God, about
life's tides in this year alone?
About the five deaths in four months?
About unexpected new opportunities?
About laughing hard at a funeral, and
raging over a slowly-birthing joy?
Yet you, the One who is above all and beyond all,
you mark the time in a blink, like a dream,
while I struggle through these tides.
Perhaps I should not expect any more of life
than the grasses.

Remnants of long conversations with those
gifted in mindfulness and presence and being
whisper that I should let the highs and lows
simply be ....
but my brain and spirit clearly missed
those gifts from the start

(and the tides will still come
whether I am mindful or not),
so instead I will pray for mercy as I cling
through flourishing and failing,
withering and renewing;
as I cling through
life's marking of me.

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