With my arms raised in a vee,
I gather the heavens and bring
my hands down slow together,
press palms and bow my head.
I try to forget the suffering,
the wars, the ravage of land
that threatens songbirds,
butterflies, and pollinators.
The ghosts of their wings flutter
past my closed eyes as I breathe
the spirit of seasons, the stirrings
in soil, trees moving with sap.
With my third eye, I conjure
the red fox, its healthy tail, recount
the good of this world, the farmer
tending her tomatoes, the beans
dazzled green al dente in butter,
salt and pepper, cows munching
on grass. The orb of sun-gold
from which all bounty flows.
~Twyla M. Hansen “Trying to Pray” from Rock. Tree. Bird
There is much to pray about.
The list is endless and the need overwhelming.
Where even to begin?
It is for good reason we are advised by Paul to “pray without ceasing” (the word in Greek is adialeiptos or “uninterruptedly”) in 1 Thessalonians 5:17.
It is not only when we audibly and in form,
address our petitions to the Deity that we pray.
We pray without ceasing.
Every secret wish is a prayer.
Every house is a church;
the corner of every street is a closet of devotion.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson in his sermon: Pray Without Ceasing
A farmer may have an addendum:
every barn is a church,
every moment kneeling and weeding the soil an act of devotion,
every moment of care-taking God’s creation an act of sacramental obedience.
Praying without ceasing in the course of one’s day.
Yet even before we clasp our hands together,
we are told to “Rejoice always.”
-Rejoice before complaining.
-Rejoice before requesting.
-Rejoice before losing heart.
Let me be breathing in the spirit of the seasons, overwhelmed by joy, before I talk with God. He knows which tears are which.