Discernment

Mo Ranch, Texas, October, 2012

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I hiked up the road to the outdoor “Chapel on the Hill,” looked out across the valley below, and at the circling birds, and thought, O that I had wings; even turkey buzzards make it look so easy. Then I wondered,  would I glide like that if I had wings? Or would I turn into the wind to fight it – if I had wings – if I were a turkey buzzard in Texas?

It’s windy up here.  I think of the wind as ancient, as if the same wind that blows today blew on the dinosaurs, if they ever got up here.  The wind must have seen it all come and go.  Probably it could tell stories. Some say that they hear the wind speak, as if it had a voice.  I think I could say it howls, but not much more than that.

The wind that the buzzards circle on so calmly makes everything move in this hilltop sanctuary; tree limbs lurch in gusts, like drunks do, but are similarly unfazed by it.  Lone weeds, that made the effort to poke up through the rocks, get knocked around mercilessly, but don’t seem any worse the wear.  Even the rocks up here look worn down; though it occurs to me that the same wind that diminishes, also smooths them some.

I’m trying to take in the view.  This scene will outlast me.  I’m up here for a brief moment.  I don’t want to be here as an intruder, or an exception to this state of nature.   “Okay,” I want to say, “so let this be my moment to sync-up my heart to this episode, in which I am a bit-player in the story of this wind on this hill and that valley.  May it be told – if anyone tells – that on this small day, at least for this morning, all was as it should be; and that on this day too, as on all the others, without me up here, though I’ll have to walk back down from the chapel without wings, I was also without resistance; and that the wind that nearly tipped over my water bottle and flapped my notebook pages didn’t just blow my hair around, but entered me, and that I took a deep breath; and that I was open to it – even enjoyed it – though it told me no secrets, if it had any to tell, of how the story would go tomorrow, in this wind, up on this hill top, or in that valley.

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