Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Earthlings

Yesterday evening I was reading on the patio. The sun was setting on the other side of the house and I was enjoying the cool coming on after a warm day. As I lay back in a lounge chair I read that human beings are “earthlings”, formed by God from the mud, “dirt babies.” (Barbara Brown Taylor’s An Altar on the World) Brown Taylor reminded me that the trees and the plants are rooted in the very element from which I came.

I set down my book and looked up at the circle of blue, surrounded by the tops of trees. The sky was brilliant and the leaves yellow-green from the low sun. A hawk glided into the circle of sky. Without effort, its wings wide, it moved in a slow circle above me and the house and the trees. When the hawk tilted toward the east, its feathers brightened by the setting sun, flashed white.

The hawk is rooted too, like me, dust from the earth. I watched until the bird slowly circled away over the treetops. The hawk and I were hundreds of feet apart, near the earth and near the clouds and for a moment, I wondered at the connection.

This morning I started my day with a breakfast meeting at 7:30 a.m. and finished talking with parishioners at 8:45 p.m. In the hours in between, I attended meetings, made phone calls, received and sent emails. I sat with several people, to talk, to listen, to problem solve, to lead. I prayed and heard prayer.

And with all that, a day’s labor in the name of Christ, when I walked up the driveway, newspaper and mail in hand, I was thinking about the trees and the sun, the earth and the hawk.

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