April 26, 2021
By Sister Joy Clough
“I was thinking:Mary Oliver, “Five A.M. in the Pinewoods”
so this is how you swim inward,
so this is how you flow outward,
so this is how you pray.”
Buoyant or water-logged
under waves, over reefs
in vast sea, open lake, bounded pool,
the swimming may be
heaven-facing float – even
that amusing upside-down and backward stroke
of fanning arms and frog-like legs.
Fear-free or frightened
under snowdrift, through tree tangle
gurgling between defined banks
or surging well beyond them,
the flowing may be
braided rivulet over strewn stones or thirsty sand
cascading waterfall – even
beads of earthly perspiration
oozing from a sandstone seep.
all this –
is how we pray.
Photo Credit and Description:
— Photo of sunset and lake: by Sister Marilyn Morgan. Used with permission. — Sister Marilyn’s description of her photo: I was on retreat at the Camaldolese Hermitage when I took these photos from the Hermitage Road. The property is nestled high in the Santa Lucia Mountains. The mountains rise dramatically from the ocean and are on a famous stretch on the Central Coast of California. I am always in awe at the view from the Hermitage; it is a place of deep silence and peace.