Each month we follow a theme for worship services. In November, it was Change. As the calendar turns to December, the year turns toward winter, and the season from harvest to yule, the new theme is Wonder. Here is a poem called “Mysteries, Yes” by Mary Oliver:
Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous
to be understood.
How grass can be nourishing in the
mouths of the lambs.
How rivers and stones are forever
in allegiance with gravity
while we ourselves dream of rising.
How two hands touch and the bonds will
never be broken.
How people come, from delight or the
scars of damage,
to the comfort of a poem.
Let me keep my distance, always, from those
who think they have the answers.
Let me keep company always with those who say
“Look!” and laugh in astonishment,
and bow their heads.
I love the theme of Wonder because I love the lesson it contains: be amazed. Delight in small things. Reflect on everyday mysteries like love and gravity and nourishment. Indeed I come to poems for comfort, and I come both with delight and with sorrow.
The last part of this poem is my favorite. Wisdom is not in answers but in noticing and delighting. It makes me think of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. One of the wisest and quietest and most powerful characters in the story is Tom Bombadil. He has no power to make war or to rule kingdoms, but his power comes from the earth and from his connection with it. He knows his land and knows that he belongs there—and he laughs in delight as he goes about his business. He laughs when the sun appears from behind the clouds or when a bird sings. These things, as Mary Oliver suggests, are worthy of astonishment and of wonder.
Earth Wheel; Star Wheel that turns time; Great Mystery; hear my prayer:
May delight and wonder be abundant in our lives,
May we be wise enough to wonder at daily miracles all around us,
May we be child-like enough to laugh and be in awe at everyday beauty.
Rev. Andrew Frantz
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Rev. Andrew Frantz
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