I don’t know where prayers go,
or what they do.
Do cats pray, while they sleep
half-asleep in the sun?
Does the opossum pray as it crosses the street?
The sunflowers? The old black oak
growing older every year?
I know I can walk through the world,
along the shore or under the trees,
with my mind filled with things
of little importance, in full
self-attendance. A condition I can’t really
call being alive.
Is a prayer a gift, or a petition,
or does it matter?
The sunflowers blaze, maybe that’s their way.
Maybe the cats are sound asleep. Maybe not.
While I was thinking this I happened to be standing
just outside my door, with my notebook open,
which is the way I begin every morning.
Then a wren in the privet began to sing.
He was positively drenched in enthusiasm,
I don’t know why. And yet, why not.
I wouldn’t persuade you from whatever you believe
or whatever you don’t. That’s your business.
But I thought, of the wren’s singing,
what could this be
if it isn’t a prayer?
So I just listened, my pen in the air.
The roses lie on the burlap sack in the sturdy cardboard box they came packed in. Their roots are bare. On a printed sheet the planting instructions are next to them. How vulnerable they are in transit. Without quick transportation in that sturdy container, a good reception, and a quick placement in the garden, they are done for. We are so much like them, sliding into the world with the root to our mother exposed. We must be received to grow in this world. We must be swaddled, sheltered, and fed. Even as adults we need this. How vulnerable life is without support. If we have no place, we are rootless. It is hard to become ‘that part of God’ we were born for without being planted securely in life. My spiritual core will be a thorny twig with shriveled roots if I am not planted in God’s presence. Along with these roses I need to be placed in deep soil, in quiet loam, in the tenderness of God. We need living water for our thirst. We need to be fed and tended by the generous life force that is at the heart of all things. Only then can our potential come to greening. The greatest longing is to leaf out, to become what we have been given to be…..Gunilla Norris
coming home is the deepest ecstasy of the spirit cycle…..the innate rightness of the wildish essence of mystery…..and yet, this isn’t a solitary journey, but rather an intuitive wisdom drawn from time’s passing, the empathic knowing of cohorts on the path and our heart’s worth….what lies behind the shadows of our soul?
At the Natural Gate, our work is to come home to ourselves and discover where we are truly content, happy, and satisfied. These states show us where deep self-acceptance resides and where we trust our natural being and our inner wilderness. The most splendid external expression of that wilderness is nature itself. Nature, in its majestic beauty, can put our soul at ease, relax us, and deliver us to a timeless mystery that opens the doors to contemplation, reflection, integration, and transformation. When we experience inner quiet and peacefulness, we can savor the wisdom and spirituality found in nature, in silence, and in precious moments we experience at the center of our being…..Angeles Arrien