Advent 2016: Prayer for Seasons

Bellingham woke up to a snow day. I changed my Seattle meeting to a conference call and cleared two hours in the morning for being with my kids and the dog. We were the first ones to make tracks down our street. There is nothing sweeter.

I found myself nostalgic about other snow days with my kids, about all the neighborhood children at the sledding hill that don't look like children anymore. And nostalgic about snow and all things frozen--how long will that be part of our world? In our rush to drill, frack, drive, buy, extract, produce, excel, consume, transport, compete, we're grieving the earth. The kids and I have been having lots of conversations about that lately, so it's especially poignant to see them running through the snow. I wonder about their children, their grandchildren, and how many Standing Rocks it will take before we remember the right order of things. That's where this poem comes from.

Prayer for Seasons

God of hot summers, spring rain,
veined leaf, winter snows,
keep us in your seasons.

Give us the green seedling,
harvest and death,
months of hibernation, darkness,
gestation, more births in spite of ourselves.

Give the polar bear her snow,
the ice caps their heft,
keep us from melting everything down
to smallness and commerce.

Give the gardens their wildness,
the weeds their heyday,
keep us from dumping beauty bark
over everything that wants to sing.

Give the beaches their sunbathers,
all obligations be damned,
keep us from lunches at our desks
and the heinous sin of losing our wonderment.

Give the trees their dying colors,
give us shorter days and cold mornings,
keep us from infatuation with stasis,
help us to let go and fall.

God, from whose breath we come
and whose song finds voice in us,
keep us in your seasons.