I took this photograph of this Wendell Berry quote painted on a wall at the Santa Fe Farmers Market a few weeks ago. It seems more timely than ever this week.
This morning, as we all wake up to a new month, to the beginning of a new season, to the winding down of summer, many of us are reflecting on the journey of our lives.
Last night at midnight, I sent in the deadline draft of the book I have been working on for the past year. An inspirational memoir called The Way of Being Lost.
This morning, in bleary exhaustion of having forgotten how to sleep, I begin to contemplate to the coming end of my time here in Texas, the unknown of the next steps in my journey, the empty frightening hopeful possibility of this blank page.
This morning I wake up with a roof over my head, my dog by my side, and immense gratitude for my life.
Just a few hours from here, thousands upon thousands of people have lost everything they have held dear. They do not have a roof over their heads, and they do not know where they will go next. They are not intentionally homeless like me. They are unexpectedly wrenchingly terrifyingly homeless -- at the beginning a long journey to recovery for which they never asked.
I have been holding those people in prayer in my hearts.
I do not have many words today, so I will have to let the words of others speak the sorrow and the hope I feel for the world. As I struggle to hold the contradictions of living in a country where we can see everyday heroes show such immense courage and love, and yet find ourselves heartbroken by the fear-based hate of so many different kinds of supposed "leaders", I remind myself that our planet has been here before and we have survived. And so I cherish the remains of the earth, just as the survivors to the south of me will learn to cherish the tiny glimmers of grace that will give them the strength to face their hard road ahead.
Whenever I have no words, I turn to poetry.
I have always loved this poem by Stanley Kunitz. I share it with you this morning as a kind of prayer -- for every individual facing a new beginning for which they never asked, and for our country and the planet teetering on the edge of such darkness, yet always finding its way back to the light.
For everyone learning every day to live in the layers, not in the litter, may we all know the heavy-winged grace of scavenger angels who will help us find the way we need to go.
We are not done with our changes.