For dying orchids, catbirds
and other occupants —
Paper-thin creamy petals
of an orchid blossom fold
and bow in death
Scattered feathers and small entrails
of a gray catbird litter the road this morning
Prisoners in and out of cells hang on
by spider-thin threads of hope
Children lost and abandoned
have no get-out-of-jail cards
Women and men found wandering
find few if any life-sustaining options
And that little mouse is now gone
except for its small helpless head
Written after my morning walk, and after discovering the first orchid blossom expired in my kitchen during the night. Likewise the little mouse a few days ago, set upon by a determined predator. You’ll find the rest in the news and in our neighborhoods any day or night of the week.
Not very likable, I admit. Yet our tears for losses great and small are invaluable connections to ourselves, to others, and to our Creator. We are, after all, living on borrowed time within a growing breakdown of human kindness and decency. We don’t have to be persons of a certain faith or even age to see, understand and grieve these daily realities.
Sabbath rest gives time to think not simply about the glories of creation, but about how much we’ve lost and how sad it all is. Our Creator honors our tears and, I believe, weeps with us. Tears of lament aren’t signs of weakness, but signs and sometimes celebrations of small connections we must renew if we want to thrive together.
©Elouise Renich Fraser, 14 July 2018
Image found at blogs.covchurch.org