Love Note: White Owl

Dear Ones-

In these past days, largely chilled and sunless as we move through the darkest time of the year, the topic of death seems to be recurring. Several of you have shared stories of loved ones and acquaintances who have recently died, and of course there are countless others whose lives have ended these past months due to the virus and other causes.

As I began reading Mary Oliver’s words about the angelic flight of a white owl, I wondered what morsel of inspiration she would leave us with (always there is something).  And then there it was…a message about the grace that can be/should be (maybe always is but we who remain are unaware) interwoven into the process of leaving life as we know it.  What a lovely way to move into harmony with the idea of death… as so much light wrapping itself around us.

For all of us whose hearts have been pierced by loss in these ways, I hope her words bring some comfort.

Blessings to each of you,

White Owl Flies Into and Out of the Field

Coming down out of the freezing sky
with its depths of light,
like an angel, or a Buddha with wings,
it was beautiful, and accurate,
striking the snow and whatever was there
with a force that left the imprint
of the tips of its wings — five feet apart —
and the grabbing thrust of its feet,
and the indentation of what had been running
through the white valleys of the snow —
and then it rose, gracefully,
and flew back to the frozen marshes
to lurk there, like a little lighthouse,
in the blue shadows —
so I thought:
maybe death isn’t darkness, after all,
but so much light wrapping itself around us —

as soft as feathers —
that we are instantly weary of looking, and looking,
and shut our eyes, not without amazement,
and let ourselves be carried,
as through the translucence of mica,
to the river that is without the least dapple or shadow,
that is nothing but light — scalding, aortal light —
in which we are washed and washed
out of our bones.