Thousands of voices


Do you bow your head when you pray 
or do you look up into that blue space? 
Take your choice, prayers fly from all directions. 
And don’t worry about what language you use, 
God no doubt understands them all. 
Even when the swans are flying north 
and making such a ruckus of noise, 
God is surely listening and understanding. 
Rumi said, There is no proof of the soul. 
But isn’t the return of spring 
and how it springs up in our hearts a pretty good hint? 
Yes, I know, God’s silence never breaks, 
but is that really a problem? 
There are thousands of voices, after all. 
And furthermore, don’t you imagine (I just suggest it) 
that the swans know about as much as we do 
about the whole business? 
So listen to them and watch them, 
singing as they fly. 
Take from it what you can.

Mary Oliver, Whistling Swans

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