The weather these past days – heat followed by rain and then more heat – has meant that there is a surge of growth in the fields and along the hedgerows. As always, I am surprised by its spontaneity and joyful abandon. We can see an unforced wild blossoming all around. In this poem we are asked to reflect on this natural growth and see if our restless planning and hectic schedule leaves any space for going out into the fields of possibility.
Consider the lilies of the field,
the blue banks of camas opening
into acres of sky along the road.
Would the longing to lie down
and be washed by that beauty
abate if you knew their usefulness,
how the natives ground bulbs
for flour, how the settler’s hogs
uprooted them, grunting in gleeful
oblivion as the flowers fell?
And you — what of your rushed and
useful life? Imagine setting it all down—
papers, plans, appointments, everything,
leaving only a note: “Gone to the fields
to be lovely. Be back when I’m through
Even now, unneeded and uneaten,
the camas lilies gaze out above the grass from their tender blue eyes.
Even in sleep your life will shine.
Make no mistake. Of course, your work will always matter.
Yet Solomon in all his glory
was not arrayed like one of these.
Lynn Ungar, What we Share