One spiritual practice I’ve found richly rewarding over the past few years is poetic composition– to try to wrap words around a moment of unveiling. There’s something sacrilegious about putting words to the ineffable, yet I find the practice grounds me to a certain extent; the words help me remember, return me to that moment of insight, beauty, and grace. The sonnet below I composed several weeks ago after a long hike through the Maryland wilderness.
Here, the wet weight of honeysuckle scent,
the shadows dancing on the brook’s brown bank,
the brook’s deliberate gurgling descent,
the poplar tulips flowering its flank,
assert the withering to naught of Spring,
its ceding to empyric Summer’s glow,
th’exhausting days that toil from us wring,
the heaviness that rests on those that grow.
My god this too’s the season of my life,
of limits I am achingly aware.
My soul with cares, with duties now is rife.
They close in on me with a haunting stare.
“My son, beloved, look into my face,
And feel the natural rhythms of my grace.”
Saturday, May 30, 2020. On personal retreat near Waldorf, MD.