Napa Valley Taize


So here we are in Eastertide, and the watchword for this season is joy.  Real, unabashed true, bubbling over, giggle from head to toe, joy.  And the echo heard from the mystics of the 14 C. is; if you don't feel it, ask for it and the joy will come.

Now, I've been doing just that.  Waiting, asking.  Praying my kids for their wholeness, and beseeching heaven's gates for my grand-children's well being, all the while, looking around at the beauty that surrounds me, remembering the scriptures, and the intensity of the women who first saw Jesus, and feel their complete surprise after a night of horror.  Waiting for my own surprise of joy, in the gratefulness of each beautiful day.  Nada.  Not here. Yet. 

This morning Wendell Berry told me in his compilation of New Collected Poems, that first, one needs to make a place to sit down.  Then sit down.  Breathe.  Breathe unconditioned air.  Accept what comes from the silence that ensues.  And then write that which does not disturb the silence from which it came. 

Ok.  After my work day, I sit at the long copper table on my deck, listening first to the oversized and shiny black bumble bee droning around my head and table flowers, geranium, gerbera daisy, petunia.  The flowers themselves are colors that seem a little other worldly, but don't all flowers, if you think about them, otherworldly.  What mind thought up, I wonder, not just the nuances of a single color, hues, and shades, but geometric patterns and gyro forms.  Ah, but I'm thinking - and thinking seems always to disturb the silence.

Now the fading sunlight taps my cheek, and I respond with a glance up through the redwood branches above me, and follow its pathway far across the reach of the forest as it's rays signal a good night to the ferned coveys that only receding sunlight in a redwood forest can briefly illumine at dusk.

I'm starting to chuckle to myself.  The quail are calling.  Chi-CA-go, Chi-CA-go,and the evening robins accompany with their melodic chirruping.  Not still, this forest.  This deck.  A breeze stirs, and a Jay scolds.  In the distance a rooster's call demands dominance.  I watch a brown creeper land in the canyon-bark of the lone Doug fir, and wait for its small, almost inaudible scree, and it comes.  Now, I'm smiling.  Big.  Far up the hill, Hernandez's Pyrenees bark a family member in, and my Aussie briefly yips.  My cat answers with her mew, and up on my lap she climbs.  All the while, in a low ostinato, the ring necked doves in the dovecote murmur, murmur.

Hanging from a low branch of Maple, now the pentatonic chimes, hum low and soothing tones, to underscore the almost subliminal yet growing orchestra.  I am giggling.  And weeping.  Head thrown back.  HERE it is.  Here you are.  You rascal of an elusive thing called Joy.  It's far more than enough Joy for this day.  I forgot.  The Joy surrounds and saturates me.  I live in it.