Listen by Barbara Crooker

I want to tell you something. This morning
is bright after all the steady rain, and every iris,
peony, rose, opens its mouth, rejoicing. I want to say,
wake up, open your eyes, there’s a snow-covered road
ahead, a field of blankness, a sheet of paper, an empty screen.
Even the smallest insects are singing, vibrating their entire bodies,
tiny violins of longing and desire. We were made for song.
I can’t tell you what prayer is, but I can take the breath
of the meadow into my mouth, and I can release it for the leaves’
green need. I want to tell you your life is a blue coal, a slice
of orange in the mouth, cut hay in the nostrils. The cardinals’
red song dances in your blood. Look, every month the moon
blossoms into a peony, then shrinks to a sliver of garlic.
And then it blooms again.

Listen

I want to tell you something, so listen, Crooker tells us. This morning / is bright after all the steady rain – how true is that after so many downpours, the flowers open mouthed or bedraggled but nourished.

Wake up, open your eyes she admonishes us, pay attention to all the possibilities ahead, what is unwritten, unseen, yet to be experienced. The vibrating small insects, especially August’s crickets, tiny violins of longing and desire, singing us songs, singing us into song.

I can’t tell you what prayer is reminds me of Mary Oliver’s The Summer Day which also ponders how we open our hearts. But I can take the breath of the meadow into my mouth, releasing it for the leaves’ green need. Is that not accessible prayer and beauty enough?

She wants to tell us that our lives are a blue coal, a slice of orange, cut hay, the cardinal’s red song – sight, taste, smell, sound, all of our senses alive when we awake and feel deeply.

Finally she paints us the picture of how the moon waxes into flower, a showy peony, then shrinks to a sliver of garlic before blossoming again. And again each month, a continuous prayer of thanks for all that is.

Listen. The world has much to tell us.

7 thoughts on “Listen by Barbara Crooker

  1. This: “I can’t tell you what prayer is, but I can take the breath
    of the meadow into my mouth, and I can release it for the leaves’
    green need. ” Yes, me too, reminded of Mary Oliver’s Summer Day. I have been dwelling with Breath more lately, in my Prana Practice, in pulling myself back from the brink day after day at the news of the world, remembering just to breathe, thinking of those with Covid who are struggling to breathe. Today I take the breath of the grass into my mouth, the breath of falling leaves, the breath of a season coming to a close. Thank you for this, Jan.

    Like

    • That line about what prayer is reminded me of you Wendy, something you could have written, so beautiful. And such a good reminder to us just to breathe consciously, to come back to this moment amidst the chaos. love Jan

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s