Sunday, June 30, 2013

Blowin' in the Wind: My Delight

(Blowin’ in the Wind is a regular feature on my blog consisting of an assortment of nature writings – hymns, songs, prayers, scriptures, poems or other things – pieces I may not have written but that inspire me. I trust they will do the same for you.)

John Leax (pronounced 'lex') is a retired English professor but current Poet-in-Residence at Houghton College in the Genesee Valley of western New York, a Christian liberal arts school. I became acquainted with his work years ago through an NPR interview, where on air he read this poem contained in his 2000 book Out Walking. The poem captures my own spirit toward a small bit of earth God has blessed Gail and me to 'own' in the Northwoods of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

It is God's good pleasure to delight us with His creation, with what brings God delight. I pray that in some way this poem, no, this entire blog project, will bring its readers a deeper delight with, and stewardship of, God's very, very good earth.

my delight, by John Leax

Though you have made the earth
for your delight,
I walk your woods and find
in hemlock, pine and poplar
from the burning of your sun,
and fuel to warm me
when your cold descends.

I find streaming from a hillside
clean water
that slakes my thirst,
and in the wildness of its flow,
trout that feed my hunger.

At your meadow’s edge,
I pluck raspberries from the cane
and wonder at the thrasher
in the briars.

With every turn I find
extravagance –
the unending revelation
of your joy’s abundance.
What other end should I imagine
for goldenrod and buttercup,
for bloodroot, trillium, and phlox,
for jack-in-the-pulpit
and Queen Anne’s lace, for coltsfoot,
mullein, vetch and lily,
for loosestrife and forget-me-not?
I am confounded…

What harmony within yourself
led you to make your pleasure
and my needs be one?

What awful purpose then
led you to place
your pleasure in my keeping?

What discord now tempts me
to seize what you have made
and call it mine?

The fitness of this place
for my abode portends
(Photography by Rick and Gail Mylander)
a grace beyond
my strength to hold.

I must be held or fall.

With these words affirming
my delight, I yield
my inclination  to name
my own what can be only yours.

Let my delight be as it must,
yours and yours alone.

~~ RGM, June 29, 2013

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