Love Life in all its Myriad Forms

Sandia Crest, New Mexico, January 2, 2020

When you fall in love with being alive,
life loves you back. What doesn’t love
to be loved? What doesn’t feel humbled
and ecstatic with the luck of not being left
unrequited? Love the sun and it lets you see
its green and growing edge moving through
the darkest human history like a forest moves
renewed across an ashen void. Falling in love
smooths flaws, sees genius in oddity, morphs
blemishes and bulges into sweet slopes and curves,
restores trust and withers grudges with just
the fascination, the single focus of adoring curiosity. And life itself
always knows it, and gives you back all it’s got.

V. B. Price, Christmas Poem 2019 Mercury Messenger

We face a new year and a new decade. 2020 is apt. We need new vision—clear sight and updated eyeglasses for times such as this. As we head into 2020, I wish you a love affair with all the non-human, created world. Learn about earth’s mind blowing mysteries. Revel in creaturely wisdom. Behold beauty in everything. Teach your children and beloveds.

“In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we are taught.”

(Baba Dioum, Senegalese Forestry Engineer, 1968.)
Image result for images bee on rose

I’ve found that poetry and image are the forms that can cut quickly to the chase— what is most essential. Here is Life in all its Myriad Forms in the carefully distilled words of the poets heart…and the eyes of the photographer.

What is this dark hum among the roses?

        The bees have gone simple, sipping,

that’s all. What did you expect? Sophistication?

        They’re small creatures and they are

filling their bodies with sweetness, how could they not

        moan in happiness? The little

worker bee lives, I have read, about three weeks.

        Is that long? Long enough, I suppose, to understand

that life is a blessing. I have found them-haven’t you?

        stopped in the very cups of the flowers, their wings

a little tattered—so much flying about, to the hive,

        then out into the world, then back, and perhaps dancing,

should the task be to be a scout –sweet, dancing bee.

        I think there isn’t anything in this world I don’t

admire. If there is, I don’t know what it is. I

        haven’t met it yet. Nor expect to. The bee is small,

and since I wear glasses, so I can see the traffic and

        read books, I have to

take them off and bend close to study and

        understand what is happening. It’s not hard, it’s in fact

as instructive as anything I have ever studied. Plus, too,

        it’s love almost too fierce to endure, the bee

nuzzling like that into the blouse

        of the rose. And the fragrance, and the honey, and of course

the sun, the purely pure sun, shining, all the while, over

        all of us.

Hum, by Mary Oliver

Chunky and noisy,

but with stars in their black feathers,

they spring from the telephone wire

and instantly

they are acrobats

in the freezing wind.

And now, in the theater of air,

they swing over buildings,

dipping and rising;

they float like one stippled star

that opens,

becomes for a moment fragmented,

then closes again;

and you watch

and you try

but you simply can’t imagine

how they do it

with no articulated instruction, no pause,

only the silent confirmation

that they are this notable thing,

this wheel of many parts, that can rise and spin

over and over again,

full of gorgeous life.

Ah, world, what lessons you prepare for us,

even in the leafless winter,

even in the ashy city.

I am thinking now

of grief, and of getting past it;

I feel my boots

trying to leave the ground,

I feel my heart

pumping hard. I want

to think again of dangerous and noble things.

I want to be light and frolicsome.

I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,

as though I had wings.

Starlings in Winter – Mary Oliver (from: Owls and Other Fantasies: Poems and Essays)
Image result for images starlings
a murmuration of starlings

I look out into my front yard and see dead bees mounting up on the ground around one hive. I fear they haven’t survived the frigid 20 degree temps. I see the Roadrunner as a shadow in the distance, patiently waiting for me to exit so he can swoop in for a feast of bee protein.

If my bees have survived, the queen is already laying eggs deep in the dark, dank hive —preparing a new brood of baby female worker bees who emerge when the temps release their iron grip and the spring flowers beckon.

Here’s to a new year, filled with the peace of wild things, and the ability to see with new sight, to carry out our work in community, dismantling the old and creating anew.

Nada Retreat Center, Crestone, CO

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