Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sacrament of summer days

Sacramental theology, the belief that the spiritual realm and the physical realm are in fact the same realm, completely inseperable, came quite naturally to me even though I didn't come from a sacramental background. I did not need the theology behind it to know that God himself is revealed in the eruption of the color green each spring, in the grandeur of the Southern pines that towered over my little head, in the wooded groves and creeks of my childhood stomping grounds. In those sweaty summer days, God was as present as the dirt under my fingernails; I may have been tempted to think he was present in the dirt under my fingernails.

Today after sleeping off some jet-lag after the long journey home that ended last night, I walked out the door of my parents' house in the country and was halted by what I saw: the explosion of the color green. Having been in Italy for two-and-a-half weeks, I had missed the unfolding of my last spring in the South, and instead was shocked by the vibrant brightness all at once upon my return. Though I'm normally not a fan of Emily Dickinson (is that as bad as not being a fan of Jane Austin?), it brought her fitting words to mind.
These are the days when Birds come back —
A very few — a Bird or two —
To take a backward look.

These are the days when skies resume
The old — old sophistries of June —
A blue and gold mistake.

Oh fraud that cannot cheat the Bee —
Almost thy plausibility
Induces my belief.

Till ranks of seeds their witness bear —
And softly thro' the altered air
Hurries a timid leaf.

Oh Sacrament of summer days,
Oh Last Communion in the Haze —
Permit a child to join.

Thy sacred emblems to partake —
Thy consecrated bread to take
And thine immortal wine!

-Emily Dickinson


Christian H said...

"Though I'm normally not a fan of Emily Dickinson (is that as bad as not being a fan of Jane Austin?)..."

No where near.

Chef, Interrupted said...

That is a fabulous ED poem. And welcome back!