It is our last night of retreat with
Gravity, A Center for Contemplative Action.
And now a sky brimming with stars
settles gently around our shoulders.

The Big Dipper poised above Saint Benedict
seems to shimmer with fullness,
as though it just scooped up a mountain
of silvery kernels from Nebraska cornfields
stretching to infinity in every direction.

There are no devices I wish to power on.
The faint taps and whispering scratches
of a fountain pen
communicate to my sisters and brothers
scrawls of gratitude
in a language that we now know
trails off beyond symbols
to a path of reflected lunar light
across the rippled lake and beyond
to circle a magnificent rising moon;
such celestial celebration
as only reverent silence can bring.

I want to rest here forever and i do
in this eternal present moment
emptied of news feeds, opinions and restless thoughts. All our usual distractions seem so meager, like a blaring, blazing 24 hour casino promising riches to the the masses
that throng to it in a distant metropolis.

Across the street monks pray for us
and all of the world with such devoted unwavering love that I can see it rising
above the harvested fields, a holy host
of mysterious beneficence, like a gift blanket of luminescence that I can surrender to fully amongst the dreams of all who shared with us,
fellow seekers encircling us with
joined hearts and hands,
baptising us with the water of life,
tears freely given without self-consciousness
from such beautiful eyes that I never realized
each human has the capacity
to glisten and shine like this,
that they could bring such blessed renewal,
unconditional love that suffuses the night,
rising higher with the ascending moon,
glowing with perfection on every one of us
in this holy grace-filled timeless instant
of solitude, silence and stillness.

©John Greenleaf-Maple – text and art 10/7/17

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