when my mind wanders

on a Sunday late morning, mid-day, really, we’re driving home together, music or no music, around the winding roads and past the farmstands and apple orchards, fall around us. I think about how the leaves are like flames now, licking up the sides of the trees,

how the wind lies in wait to surprise the scattered seeds of the last of the dandelions,

how all of this should make a beautiful poem, the ordinariness of nature, how it goes on and on harvesting the expected and the surprising in one fell swoop of the calendar.

This year the word was light, I remember, as I see the sun peek through the trees and catch the edge of his glasses. I glance at him, a second longer than I look at anyone else.

I remember that God turned all the lights off, suddenly. I remember how last October I cried and cried about being among the ones who never strayed from the crowd, when God told me at a stoplight how He leaves the rest of the world to come after me, in search of me the way no one else ever has been, ever will be.

Last year the fall was golden, and now it turns red, and again and again the harvest returns, offers something to us.

I think about Rilke and poetry and how there are now 45 poems in my computer that weren’t there before. How it must be an act of obedience.

And then I think about you.

I drive and I think about you, writer, reader, lover of leaving – that’s Rumi, a long quote about ours not being a caravan of despair – I think about how you have watched this year, in a way, watched the light dawn and fade, watch me wonder about stillness, peace, watched me try to write wisdom into a space where more often than not I am the one who must learn from you.

I think about how I could not write, but that you, you, read this. And you give me space to write it wrong, write it with questions hanging on branches, write about silence and presence and God’s wild love… Rilke is right, always, but as I drive and think about you I want to tell us – tell you –

the reading of it matters.

The reading of the poetry,

or the blog posts,

the half-my-heart-intact prayers,

the reading of it is important.

It makes a difference to me to think about you when I think about writing down the leaves have turned to flames on the trees.

It makes a difference to know that I can clang pots and pans in a field somewhere about the Kingdom and midwives and Shakespeare, about silence and ache and courage, about not knowing where to find God and sitting in a chapel all alone at the end of a long day.

My mind wanders as I look at the world on a Sunday afternoon driving home, and it takes me to you. I’m so grateful.



6 thoughts on “when my mind wanders

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