Here you are
With no warning and no surprise, three sturdy wingbeats slide suddenly from on high. Settling, now still. Here you are. Strong breast, speckled; eyes vigilant, crown aglow from low sun behind—avian apex of the valley.
A peripheral suggestion casually slips up the bank, into piñon shade. Settling, now still. Here you are. Gorgeous coat in mottled sun; relaxed, feet front, head high—strong, sure morning sentinel of the valley.
Hawk perched alert in the center of the yard, until lifting surely back to its aerie. Coyote lounging amidst the trees, now strolling languidly through shining gramma, poking into low boughs, and dropping back into the arroyo from whence it appeared. In this way, into the quiet space at the heart of the solitude that I’ve chosen and cultivated, which has broadened and deepened with time, with attention, with care, here you are. Spirit tangible. Palpable. Embodied.
Gentle, rich presence: cool clear water soothing a valley’s parched heart. . . soft insistent breeze stirring each sun-seeking tendril. . . winter’s dazzling stars piercing the soul’s cold night. The wind and water, sun and stars—ever arriving, never lingering. Always touching, stirring, warming, lifting.
And so I walk on, here in the outskirts of the heart of this all-living world. Carrying questions. Keeping faith. Reaching deep. In the layers of wind whispering across the land, and this noontime moon-slice in soft blue sky, here you are. As the search discovers its path, here you are. Alongside flowing waters, here you are. In the sharing of kindred souls, here you are. In each breath and every touch, here you are.
Image: Colleen Pinski, Smithsonian Magazine
The voice used here addresses specific beings and/or or a divine realm
as a separate, though at times extended, “other.”
It occurs to me: perhaps it would be interesting
to revise it by changing “you are” to “I am,”
reflecting an expanded self-identity with the other,
and/or a fuller embodiment as or identification with
what’s being experienced.
Ah, such a coarse reversal doesn’t fully work
with the presence being explored here.
But the gesture is still worthwhile!
See the next post (above) for Merton’s musings on this theme.