Manna Meditations

finding Narcissus by a quiet stream…

Manna Meditations, Day 33

The Stream snatches a slice out of the sky and pins it down in a furrow of earth, so that all the trees lean over to look, seeing the sight of themselves for the very first time:

They stand astounded, caught in this position for a hundred years, perhaps … Just long enough for their lean forms to lock in the shape of supplication, or prayer.

The Stream laughs all day long at their vanity. But the she laughs, too, at the gift of their beauty, which bends always toward her, backlit by blue.

In the face of our beloved, we seek our own reflection. ‚̧

Everyday Wonder

signs of spring …

The green begins slow, like someone waking up after a long nap.

It spreads subtly across the forest at first: the tiniest leaves spangling the understory.

But then the grass on the lawn grows long.

The wood moss puts out furry wands tipped with tiny capsules of new life.

As for me, I go out to the back yard and cut down an armful of forsythia blooms. I bring the long stems inside, and stuff them in my great-grandmother’s blue Ball jars. Suddenly, every corner of our tiny cottage is filled with the color and scent of sunshine, green things, growing things… Life:


I rest, and say It Is Good.  ‚̧

Everyday Wonder

the thaw …


When the thaw happens, it happens all at once.


Almost two months ago now.

We go walking in the woods:  me, T and two dear friends.  New-fallen snow lines every limb and leaf.  The light is pale silver; the air cold, but not too cold.

Like Winter is making up its mind.


We have the dogs with us, and they go tearing through the underbrush ahead, leaping and yelping with delight. ¬†We watch them kicking up mud and wet leaves, blackening their muzzles, and we can’t help but laugh.¬†

After awhile, I let the others go ahead of us, chasing down the dogs, and I hang back on the trail, just looking.

The forest is profoundly quiet — the deep quiet you only hear after it snows — and I push back the furry hood of my coat just to listen to that¬†emptiness.

I stand there for a few moments. ¬†I’m waiting for something without knowing what.

And then it comes:  the thaw.  

Almost all at once, the air temperature must tick up a half a degree or two, because suddenly all the snow dotting the branches liquifies.  Tiny dewdrops spangle every twig.

And then — oh, God! — the sun. ¬†It stabs a long scar in the clouds and comes tearing through in solid gold bars: ¬†shooting through the treetops. ¬†Bouncing off the trunks. ¬†Catching and sizzling in the million dewdrops. ¬†

Setting them all on fire.


The forest
is filled
with diamonds.


And now I am sitting here, months later, trying to put it into words:  how paper-thin the membrane, between the dark and the light.  The cold and the flame.  

How fragile the cold.  

How fierce and strong the Spring.

How deep and wide the joy, when at last — at last — it comes.


Happy Spring, friends. ¬†I think we made it. ‚̧

Everyday Magic

A Monday-morning call to look again …

Can I tell you something? 

Can I say it here — now — before the noise of the week presses in and drowns out my words?

Oh, friend. Hear me: this world is full of magic. And I believe the best magic waits for those of us who see things a little differently.

There’s mystery for those of us willing to stand on our heads to see the sky …

For those willing to get on our knees — the gesture of  prayer — to look closely:

And closer still:

Dear friend: I hope you take a little time to marvel at the world around you today.

Marvel standing on your hands…

Marvel praying on your knees…

Marvel with your lens pressed to the leaves…


Whatever you do, just marvel. ‚̧