Leaves and Blossoms Along the Way

When I stepped outside with my coffee this morning, the birds, too, were singing their Benedictus in harmony. So many voices chanting their morning canticle.

For me, there’s nothing like this time of year. It’s like the joy—that’s much harder for me to come by in winter—returns in direct proportion with the blossoming of nature.
The other week I was driving one of my sisters to an appointment. I had been in a car with her last year around this time, too. But, I forgot. Passing each full magnolia tree, vibrant red bud, or flowering cherry, we exclaimed our joy at the beauty, pointing each one out to the other as we spotted them. There’s nothing like it. She also pointed out to me the way that the trees lining Franklin Avenue blossom on one side before the other. What a time of year to live with eyes wide open.
And we haven’t even mentioned our favorite tree at the monastery. Well, it’s the favorite of many. (I think all of us have a tree on the property that lives a little deeper in our hearts for one reason or another.) This particular one, though, is much-loved because for about 2 weeks, it is on full display in the wide library windows. Jackie caught a few great photos from the other side of the glass. That sister that I mentioned in the last paragraph doesn’t walk through the hallway during those two weeks. She re-routes through the library so that she can catch glimpse of the beauty as often as possible.
Who could blame her?

Leaves and Blossoms Along the Way
Mary Oliver

If you’re John Muir you want trees to
live among. If you’re Emily, a garden
will do.
Try to find the right place for yourself.
If you can’t find it, at least dream of it. 
When one is alone and lonely, the body
gladly lingers in the wind or the rain,
or splashes into the cold river, or
pushes through the ice-crusted snow.

Anything that touches.
God, or the gods, are invisible, quite
understandable. But holiness is visible,
Some words will never leave God’s mouth,
no matter how hard you listen.
In all the works of Beethoven, you will
not find a single lie.
All important ideas must include the trees,
the mountains, and the rivers.
To understand many things you must reach out
of your own condition.
For how many years did I wander slowly
through the forest. What wonder and
glory I would have missed had I ever been
in a hurry!
Beauty can both shout and whisper, and still
it explains nothing.
The point is, you’re you, and that’s for keeps.

Let us walk in the holy presence.