That Rank Odor of Passing Springtime







With what deep thirst
we quicken our desires
to that rank odor of a passing springtime!

Must you taste everything? Must you know everything?
Must you have a part in everything?
~William Carlos Williams from “Smell”




I realize I am not so different than my dogs rolling happily in the stinkiest thing they can find  – I want to taste and know and be part of everything whether it is good or not:

I tend to douse myself with whatever I wish to carry with me through the rest of my days, even if smelling like something just died repels others.

Maybe, like my dogs, it is to conceal who I really am.

Maybe, like my dogs, I would rather fit in with the barnyard than a palace.

Or maybe, just like my dogs, I simply like getting down and dirty and too proud of it.

Human nature being what it is — the desire to blend in with the world’s sordid and sin-ridden surroundings — this is why I, like my dogs, am in constant need of a good bathing.
It would be best to smell like that rank odor of too-swiftly passing springtimes – we all need a renewal and reminder of our rebirth rather than immersion in the stench of death.

May I, like my dogs,
recognize I must be cleansed –
again and again and again.









Making the Cosmos New

Grace does not remain outside
or above
or beside nature
but rather permeates
and wholly renews it.
And thus nature,
reborn by grace,
will be brought to its highest revelation.
That situation will again return in which
we serve God freely and happily,
without compulsion or fear,
simply out of love,
and in harmony with our true nature.
Christianity does not introduce
a single substantial foreign element
into the creation.
It creates no new cosmos
but rather makes the cosmos new.
It restores what was corrupted by sin.
It atones the guilty
and cures what is sick;
the wounded it heals.
~Herman Bavinck from “Common Grace”
As we wither, our colors changing
as we die,
we are cured,
our nature reborn
by transforming amazing grace.
we respond
in love.
Let it be with me
as You have said.