As it is written, or not


We sat, three parishioners wrapped in tartan wool,
And drank from the cup, steaming coffee rising against morning chill
Staring out to sea, we waited for the sun to rise
And listened as sea lions barked, sea gulls shrieked
And the robins, swifts and wrens tweeted their fierce high notes
Each playing their part, a royal orchestra
Tuned to the nuances of the Creator’s voice

We tasted the bread, dipped in the perfect trinity of a farm fresh egg
Passed a plate baptized in blackberries and sweet maple syrup
And leaned in, silently giving thanks for the feast
Laughing at small jokes, sharing dreams from the night,
Telling stories of other meals, other tables
Draped in the grace of the Creator’s voice

We wondered, what ought we to do on this particular Sabbath,
And then, parted ways, one choosing a simple chapel
Where she could sift soil, pull weeds, plant seeds
The others, a grand cathedral,
To walk among cedar, kneel in the moss
Each of us relishing the silence and
Making space for the Creator’s voice

We felt the Spirit move among us
Anointing our foreheads with the morning breeze
She danced among leaves shimmering emerald
And breathed the sigh of a surfacing orca
Like a cougar, unseen, but mysteriously present,
She stopped us in our tracks, urging: wait, watch, listen
Lest we miss the Creator’s voice

We passed the peace to one another
Touching the rough bark of an ancient oak, the bald head of a boulder
We witnessed the baptism of a tiny leaf, newly received
Into this great community of soil and peat, grass and moss, bushes and trees
Whose roots thread the forest floor and
Cling to cliffs that run down to the sea
Where tides rise and fall by the Creator’s voice

As parishioners sometimes do, we read a psalm together
Ancient words written down, pressed into a page:
The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul
And we marvelled that we’d slipped into thinking this law could only be known
Because it was written down
But thanks to the sparrow’s song, the silver etching of herring spawn,
And the effortless ascent of an eagle, we were reminded
A book could never suffice this Creator’s voice

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