God, the hummingbird is waiting while the butterfly drinks,
and I don’t think that the hummingbird is, impatient or irritated,
or any of the many of my feelings when I wait during these uncertain times…
This morning I pray for everyone who waits — one for a COVID-19 test result, one to re-schedule a cancelled flight, while trying not to touch anything in the airport, one finishing a job interview, one sitting at the restaurant table with two menus and only one chair filled.
I pray for the family with hospice, the college freshman wondering whether to signup “in person” or virtual, for everyone in the courtroom as the jury returns,
for women with the swelling under the heart of the third trimester, and parents who listen for a late-night car door bang to announce an adolescent’s return.
I think about the feeder, and pray for each one of these,
that when life pauses, and they hover — they feel your updraft under their wings.
When great trees fall, rocks on distant hills shudder, lions hunker down in tall grasses, and even elephants lumber after safety. When great trees fall in forests, small things recoil into silence, their senses eroded beyond fear. When great souls die, the air around us becomes light, rare, sterile. We breathe, briefly. Our eyes, briefly, see with a hurtful clarity. Our memory, suddenly sharpened, examines, gnaws on kind words unsaid, promised walks never taken. Great souls die and our reality, bound to them, takes leave of us. Our souls, dependent upon their nurture, now shrink, wizened. Our minds, formed and informed by their radiance, fall away. We are not so much maddened as reduced to the unutterable ignorance of dark, cold caves. And when great souls die, after a period peace blooms, slowly and always irregularly. Spaces fill with a kind of soothing electric vibration. Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us. They existed. They existed. We can be. Be and be better. For they existed.
“Do not forget that the ashes falling from the sky are all that remains of the pine and grass and thistle and bear and coyote and deer and mouse that could not escape. Scoop some up in a sacred manner. Take it to your altar. Offer prayers for these beings. Honor their death. Pray for life. Call in rain. Remind Fire that it is full, has gobbled enough, and can rest. May all beings be safe. May all beings be loved. May all beings be remembered. May all beings be mourned.” ~ Sadee Whip
What is this thing that has happened to us? It’s a virus, yes. In and of itself it holds no moral brief. But it is definitely more than a virus. Some believe it’s God’s way of bringing us to our senses. Others that it’s a Chinese conspiracy to take over the world.
Whatever it is, coronavirus has made the mighty kneel and brought the world to a halt like nothing else could. Our minds are still racing back and forth, longing for a return to “normality,” trying to stitch our future to our past and refusing to acknowledge the rupture. But the rupture exists. And in the midst of this terrible despair, it offers us a chance to rethink the doomsday machine we have built for ourselves. Nothing could be worse than a return to normality. Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next.
We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.
Hi Everyone – I wanted to take a few minutes to introduce Milan, my wonderful pup. I adopted Milan about a year ago. She is a Formosan Mountain Dog from Taiwan. A year and a half ago, I was looking for a rescue dog to adopt and accidentally stumbled upon Milan. I was actually looking for a Beagle, but her photo and information came up since it was believed she might have a little bit of Beagle in her. I wasn’t looking for an international adoption at all when I first set out on my search, but when I saw Milan’s videos and her photos, I knew I had to have her. Her story is that she spent the first six months of her life traveling in the mountains and streets of Taiwan with a companion puppy. They had to fend for themselves and when they were found by the rescue organization, she was very thin and malnourished. Her companion puppy even had difficulty walking from lack of care. The last photo below was taken shortly after Milan was found roaming the streets on her own. Taiwan does not have the resources to take good care of animals in shelters and for that reason, there are several rescue organizations that try to help. The dogs are brought to the United States if people can be found here who will adopt them. And I was one of those people.
I will always believe Milan and I were meant to be together. I’ve had lots of dogs in my life, but I’ve never had a dog so perfectly suited for a photographer. I found out very early on that Milan looks forward to the times we spend together putting some goofy costume on her and then she’ll sit very still while I take photographs. I take photos of her every day, but I don’t post them here on the blog. I share them with family and friends. In the last couple days I started a Facebook fan page for Milan and wanted to share the link in case you want to follow along. She will surely make you smile and knowing that I’m able to spread a little bit of happiness in this world right now makes me happy as well. The link to her page is:
God, the hummingbird is waiting
while the butterfly drinks,
and I don’t think
that the hummingbird is kind,
or patient or irritated,
or any of the many
of my feelings when I wait.
I pray for everyone who waits —
one for a COVID-19 test result,
one to re-schedule a cancelled flight,
while trying not to touch
anything in the airport,
one finishing a job interview,
one sitting at the restaurant table
with two menus
and only one chair filled.
I pray for the family with hospice,
the college freshman
wondering whether to signup
“in person” or virtual,
for everyone in the courtroom
as the jury returns,
for women with the swelling
under the heart
of the third trimester,
and parents who listen
for a late-night cardoor-bang
to announce an adolescent’s return.
I think about the feeder,
and pray for each one of these,
that when life pauses,
and they hover —
they feel your updraft under their wings.