the lead bird in the migrating flock follows an undeniable call
that urgently flows, spine through wingtip, surging further than sight. birds respond
naturally to this seasonal invocation of guiding power
& the lead bird feels the pull first, drawing the others to accompany.
day after day the steady relentless primal call surges through the flock.
the one who leads is not concerned with getting ahead & the ones trailing
after are not concerned that they are following. there is one thing only:
the numinous call to journey that maintains its compelling driving force.
all follow it throughout nature's vast realm, responding as they are able.
Shiva, You call irresistibly & i respond to the urgency,
offering myself to You. there is no lull for those who can hear Your call,
nor is it needed, for being near You fills all the emptiness within.
there is a forest where each tree will greet us like a dear old friend
who delights in seeing us again. we know we are home here.
we know that the body has come from this moist, rich soil & has brought
hidden greetings from ancient veiled beings. we know that home is here.
there is a forest where the boulders speak of the time when they were
temples. they now innocently confess that they are still temples,
sheltered by the forest for the sincere seeker of the sacred.
we will feel peace here, wholeness & the tingle of awakening
deep inside, invisible to the loud crowd of pressing people
pacing to the measured steps of the socially required motions.
there is a forest that bathes us in cool deep green serenity.
when we touch the tender new ferns & vines with our bare fingertips
they tell us that we are welcome here, now & forever at home
in this quietly breathing forest graced by slow shifting sunbeams.
"you were born here before," the trees tell us, "& we remember you."
we know this is true because the body responds eagerly to
the dim cellular memory. we have never felt more at home
than when we are communing with trees, stones & plants in the depths of the
leafy living forest where the birds can be heard rejoicing in
their wings & songs. "sing freely," cry the birds, "that's what voices are for!"
so we dare to sing & we know that goodness is at the root of
everything & that the forest is made of the same stuff as the
human body & we are close kin, sharing genes & molecules,
breathing together to sustain life. "we are holy through & through,
every atom holy & blessed," say the trees, "nothing is left out."
Shiva, You made them thus to be our teachers. we are all blessed from
the very beginning, for every atom is made of blessings.
the trees know this & they have been teaching us for millennia.
when we go into the forest we can hear them murmuring truth
into the wind. Shiva, You urge us to listen, for You are their
Lord & Protector. they tell us to live in deeply respectful
harmony & devotion: Shiva, help us to be more like trees!
i am a friend to the birds of the night who emerge out of
the liminal spaces where light & dark meet & dance & blend.
we call out our wild joy to the moon & stars who now come forth
from their seclusion to shine soft subtle light into hidden
realms of moving misty forms, shifting through beckoning shades of
visibility. i am called beyond my borders by them,
enticed by these swirling shapes that glide, turn & recede from me
with the flowing meandering moves of those from somewhere else.
Shiva, lord of darkness & light, You are also truly lord
of us liminal people, drawn like moths to Your fiery love.
we sing with the birds of the holy night: the owls, whippoorwills
& chuck-will's-widows. like the drunkards brash midnight serenade,
we are loud & we won't stop our eager full-throated calling,
our powerful celebration of this transitional time.
i am a friend to the birds of the night who emerge out of
the liminal spaces to proclaim our heart's vision to You,
who wear the moon in Your hair & like to hear our songs: Shiva!
the banner of Your love flies for all outsiders such as we.
there is a sunrise in my heart. with each breath the sunglow increases; with every thought of You, Shiva, the passing moment warms & brightens. this sunrise of You fills me completely & i become a fountain.
there is a sunrise in my heart & love wells forth, showering gently down, falling like a nourishing rain into all the thirsty places. the cracked soil softens & brings forth tender shoots of green that flow like grace through hidden lowlands & the wild places of nature, my own as well.
a chorus of birds is singing in the light that leaks from the sunrise in my eager open heart. they fly to me now, bringing gifts of ferns, flowers & leaves. they recognize Your energy signature, Shiva.
there is a sunrise in my heart, a faithful guiding light that persists & ever returns to its sentinel post, comfortingly present. in this light the sacred subtle dimensions soar luminous, revealed, & You beckon to me compellingly to stand with You in the light. like a falcon returning to the falconer's arm, i come to You.
there are no words to describe You adequately & hence
many words appear, like birds singing in the rising dawn.
they can't help themselves. it's their dharma to sing at first light.
i can't stop myself from discerning You in varied ways.
i sense You like water gently raining down upon me,
drenching me with Your ten thousand glorious names & forms.
everything points to You, turns to You, just as sunflowers
yearn earnestly for the sun & track its course in the sky.
i seek You in events & persist until i find You.
with equal determination I turn my gaze inward
& seek You within the hidden "i" of this persona.
ah Shiva! i play hide & seek with You as though i were
a mischievous deva lost in an earthly frolic.
i stand behind these many words i write for You, meaning
well, just like the dawn bird who sings so joyously, or the
tall sunflower lifting its face up to worship the sun.
it is the dharma of my sunflower heart to love You.