Contentment

image by Rebekah Choat

image by Rebekah Choat

 

This has been an extraordinary year for me, encompassing devastating lows and dizzying highs and various points between. Both the heights and the depths, I see in retrospect, have been vantage points which offered me views of aspects of myself and my path that I might not have recognized from any other perspective. But the intensity of neither the agonies, thank God, nor the ecstasies can be maintained for prolonged periods of time, and as the year winds down, the earth yielding its treasures and discarding its detritus before its season of rest, I find a sense of the rightness of it all, richer than I’ve felt before, enwrapping me in a deep and comfortable peace.

 

Contentment flickers in these home-hearth flames
of gentle warmth and softly-glowing light.
It whispers through the murmur of the names
we call each other as we say good night.

When we climb into bed it tucks us in
and sings to us as we drift off to sleep –
no fears for what may come or might have been,
just simple trust that Love our souls will keep.

It greets us, fresh and fragrant, in the dawn
and walks with us the path of this day’s grace,
finding its joy in common things, homespun –
a quilt, a chair, a dear familiar face;

underpinning the cadence of our living,
it draws us to the great dance of thanksgiving.

 ~ Rebekah Choat

 

 

Thanksgiving

image by Rebekah Choat

image by Rebekah Choat

Is this one short November day all we can spare
to think of and give thanks for gifts beyond all count?
Too soon the coming season’s pressures start to mount –
just for today can we choose to set by our care?

To be all here, this moment, just to breathe this air,
to savor this day’s grace, to catch the murmured sound
of music in the voices of those who surround
this table, taste the joy in this meal that we share?

Let us be centered in the circle where we are,
with eyes to see the simple pleasures all around,
hearts whole and open to the blessings of this place;
keep kinship with friends gathered here and scattered far,
be mindful that we stand always on hallowed ground,
in gratefulness for solid underpinning grace.

 ~ Rebekah Choat

Another Sunday morning

image by Rebekah Choat

image by Rebekah Choat

Another Sunday morning comes
And I resume the standing Sabbath
Of the woods, where the finest blooms
Of time return, and where no path

Is worn but wears its makers out
At last, and disappeares in leaves
Of fallen seasons. The tracked rut
Fills and levels; here nothing grieves

In the risen season. Past life
Lives in the living. Resurrection
Is in the way each maple leaf
Commemorates its kind, by connection

Outreaching understanding. What rises
Rises into comprehension
And beyond. Even falling raises
In praise of light. What is begun

Is unfinished. And so the mind
That comes to rest among the bluebells
Comes to rest in motion, refined
By alteration. The bud swells,

Opens, makes seed, falls, is well,
Being becoming what it is:
Miracle and parable
Exceeding thought, because it is

Immeasurable; the understander
Encloses understanding, thus
Darkens the light. We can stand under
No ray that is not dimmed by us.

The mind that comes to rest is tended
In ways that it cannot intend;
Is borne, preserved, and comprehended
By what it cannot comprehend.

Your Sabbath, Lord, thus keeps us by
Your will, not ours, And it is fit
Our only choice should be to die
Into that rest, or out of it.

~ Wendell Berry