For hours, the flowers were enough.
Before the flowers, Adam had been enough.
Before Adam, just being a rib was enough.
Just being inside Adam’s body, near his heart, enough.
Enough to be so near his heart, enough
to feel that sweet steady rhythm, enough
to be a part of something bigger was enough.
And before the rib, being clay was enough.
And before clay, just being earth was enough.
And before earth, being nothing was enough.
But then enough was no longer enough.
The flowers bowed their heads, as if to say, enough,
and so Eve, surrounded by peonies, and alone enough,
wished very hard for something, and the wish was enough
to make the pinecone grow wings; the wish was enough
to point to the sky, say bird, and wait for something to sing.
~Nicole Callihan “The Origin of Birds”
We were created to be enough,
but for us enough was no longer enough so we reached for more.
We ended up stripped and stark — as if fall and winter would be the ending of all things, but of course they are not. We will not sleep forever.
When I am down to my bare and broken essentials — the bleak and muddy and the too-early dark — I am the pinecone in the dirt wishing for the strength of wings and miraculously granted the gift of flight and a voice to sing.
I know this darkness is not the ending.
Never has been. Never will be.
Whence comes this rush of wings afar
Following straight the NoÎl star?
Birds from the woods, in wondrous flight
Bethlehem seek this Holy Night
“Tell us, ye birds, why come ye here
Into this stable, poor and drear?”
“Hast’ning, we seek the new-born King
And all our sweetest music bring.”
Hark! how the greenfinch bears his part
Philomel, too, with tender heart
Chants from her leafy dark retreat
Re, mi, fa, sol, in accents sweet
Angels and shepherds, birds of the sky
Come where the Son of God doth lie;
Christ on earth with man doth dwell
Join in the shout, “Noël, Noël!”