Sunday, November 25, 2018

all that is outside

of such, the Kingdom

with my students I study the Anasazi,
those native people of a thousand years ago
who flourished in the dry canyons
of what we call New Mexico,
and into parts of Arizona, Colorado, and Utah,
the Anasazi built to honor the heavens,
to have structures of stone, petroglyphs, building, and road
mirror the changes in the heavens
as Sun and Moon dance their recurring patterns with the Earth,

Joseph Campbell, an expert in such peoples’ lives,
cautioned that we people of the West,
of technology, of industry, of machines, of the right angle,
cannot even hope to understand how the universe
reveals itself to those who live within nature,
who know sky and animal and plant
as at last equally important as humans,
I hear of children who can hear the sounds of their language
if they grow up with them,
but that sounds they do not hear, early, 
are beyond their perception,

I go further in my wonderings:
how much do plants, do trees know?
a tree and we share a quarter of our genes,
how much consciousness is in the life 
of the greatest tree, of the most ephemeral flower,
of our fungal cousins whose web predates our Web
and who live below and beyond us,
holding and acting upon truths we, at best, barely grasp?

and then I imagine the things of our world,
those nonliving realities to which we are wedded:
the rocks, the streams,
the geology within which the biology exists,

God, when we work to see God,
often is portrayed as like us,
God, to me, is as much of the nonliving as the living,
for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven, and of Earth.

by Henry H. Walker
November 23, ‘18

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