Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Day 3: Everything that lives...

I took a walk this evening, up to the park to pray and watch and listen - my camera at my side, of course. It is a warm evening with a lively breeze - fine walking weather for late summer. I had just finished taking a picture of some beautiful red roses, when I heard a man calling out. I looked up and he appeared to be waving at me and calling out to me in a friendly way. Since I didn't recognize him but no one else was around, I pointed at myself with a quizzical expression. "Yes", the large black man called out, hurrying up to me and shaking my hand. He reminded me that we had met, that he was the guitar player. Then it came back to me. I had passed him once, months ago, when he was sitting on the park bench with his guitar. He had stopped me to ask me if I knew that Jimi Hendrix was god. I hadn't heard this news before but we had parted under amiable circumstances. Now here he was before me again, greeting me as though we were old friends. He asked if I would like to take his picture. I agreed and he posed for me with a dignified smile. I showed him the picture in the camera viewer and he said, "Yep. That's me." He told me his name and we went our separate ways.

After my brief meditation, I headed on home. Just after leaving the park, I spotted an older white man with a cane, standing in the bus shelter. He had an interesting appearance and I mused that he might make a nice photographic subject - but I decided not to ask as I didn't want to risk disturbing him. I glanced at him with a vague smile as I walked by. "Are you all right?" he asked. Secretly wondering what about me had prompted the question, I replied, "Yes, I am. Thank you for asking.... Are you all right?" "Yes." "Have a good evening then," I said and continued walking.

I took the above photograph in late June, when the summer was still fresh and new. It was not hard to match nature's finery with William Blake's words, "Everything that lives is holy..." - each little leaf lined up in a neat row with its brothers and sisters, playing with the sun to make shadows on the large leaves, delicate pink blossoms in contrast. This holy bit of life had been springing forth in an abandoned community garden in the inner city, unstoppable and oblivious to funding cuts. Today, when I walked by, the large plot was quite overgrown and weedy looking - not so fresh and lovely, but still wildly alive and chirping with crickets.

"Everything that lives is holy, life delights in life." I delight in today's glimpse of the vast array of life - the guitar man, the older man who cared, the overgrown weeds with their crickets - they are all holy, as holy as the fresh young blossoms captured in my photo. Each is living out the unique lifespan bestowed upon it by the Creator.

I am holy. You are holy. Not holy like a sinless saint, fasting and praying in church - but holy with Life infused in each of our cells and organs and limbs (even the ones that aren't perfect). Go ahead - let yourself know your holiness, without judgment. Live it. Delight in it...