The Garden of Eden

The Garden of Eden
The Garden of Eden, Thomas Cole

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Jessica's Blessing

Mirador, Costa Rica
March 10, 2010; December 15, 2011

In the din of exuberance
children of Mirador
reverberate
the open assembly hall,
submerging senses,
drowning thought
in waves of chaos washing by,
composed of shouts
and soccer balls
giggling swirls of almond girls,
rice krispie squares and lemonade,
the dreams they share of lives
unfurled beyond
the world of Mirador.

But can we ever comprehend
the calculus of blessings?
How karma comes so well
disguised. How butterflies
somewhere will sway,
the wind will shift another way,
and through the swirling
stardust currents, God speaks
Child to empire’s fringe.
How echoes anchor minds
that wander, crack the armor,
fill the arms that ache to cradle,
fill the lives that ache for more.
And how the winds of Mirador
bestow in trust a brown-eyed boy
to bind my soul a blessed hour
adrift on complicated tides
unbidden thoughts impressed
inside from child or God
I cannot say –

Are you among the modern 
magi, those who wander 
far-off byways, seeking holy 
child once more, to bless 
with gifts and walk away, 
to one day join the jeering 
bands in casting lots for what 
remains when charity gets 
out of hand and cries ‘shalom’
then works for change?

At the open church door, threshold
to the gleaming muddy world beyond,
a red-dress girl but five feet tall
lays down her youth, reclaims her child
and lifts the face of timid grace
to offer what she holds inside
her blessing, a beatitude —
Be happy, spoken word for me
from God or girl I cannot say.
Madonna child of fourteen years,
squares her back and turns away,
with watchful baby over shoulder
skips past puddles, rounds the corner,
treading lightly on the pathway
down her mud and gravel days.