Some times a poem comes along that perfectly reflects the moment. This morning, as I’ve been watching the tule fog clear over an unkempt garden, here is sun silvering on the twigs. Here are the tangled briars, the misted orchard, just as they did for David Whyte, one easter in Wales.
Easter Morning in Wales
(by David Whyte)
A garden inside me, unknown, secret,
Neglected for years,
The layers of its soil deep and thick.
Trees in the corners with branching arms
And the tangled briars like broken nets.
Sunrise through the misted orchard,
Morning sun turns silver on the pointed twigs.
I have woken from the sleep of ages and I am not sure
If I am really seeing, or dreaming,
Or simply astonished
Walking toward sunrise
To have stumbled into the garden
Where the stone was rolled from the tomb of longing.
If I have a religion, it is one of soil and season. If I have a church, it is forest and field. Because of this, I have always felt conflicted about the churchy claims to this holiday. However, it seems deeply appropriate that there should be a celebration right about now, as nature is gloriously, celebratorily unfurling into spring splendor all around us. And I am grateful that we have a holiday that glorifies nature – the flowers, the eggs, the bunnies – however cartoonified. It is better than nothing. If I had my druthers, our en masse ritual would be more akin to the pagan Eostre, and fall on the actual equinox (this year, recently passed on March 28th). But I also feel there is power in collective celebrations, and so this morning, while I watched the banners of fog retreat from the pasture, my daughter gleefully rummaged for eggs in the basket a magical bunny brought. Later, we will go look for calypso orchids, and watch the bluebirds recently returned to their favorite fenceline, and allow ourselves to remain – as Whyte says – simply astonished.