Unhealthy Atmosphere

Lines for these times:

Unhealthy Atmosphere*

May we never grow
accustomed to this smoke,
this red sun, this pink moon,
this hazy shade of autumn.

May we crave fresh air,
keep peering at gray horizons
expecting mountain peaks,
lake’s far shore, lengths of fields.

May acrid particulates
burning nostrils, biting eyes
prompt us to heave
our bucketful on the flames.

May memories live of
galaxies singing masses,
eagles riding sunbeams,
sweet rain on clean grasses.

May we never accept
patinas of ash and soot,
but choke on a supply
tainted with destruction.

May we seek obscured paths,
light the way to fellowship,
community. How can we,
those blurred, be humanity?

Would St. Francis weep to see
“Brother Sun,” “Sister Moon,”
red faced, shrouded, looking
down on forests burning?

~Catherine Lawton, Oct. 2020

*Not only has 2020 given us pandemic isolation, we also have “smoke” from political and social “fires” that are raging, blurring human connections/community and obscuring truth. To make matters worse, here in the West wildfires have been blazing and sending us smoke and ash, darkened days that feel almost apocalyptic, and “unhealthy air quality.” In these days, as followers of Christ, we must work to keep alive hope and visions of beauty, truth, and love (and as we meditate on these good things, seek to act in ways that bring renewal and flourishing). With this in mind, these lines have been coming to me. –C.L.

  1 comment for “Unhealthy Atmosphere

  1. Martha Wells-Smith
    October 21, 2020 at 2:18 pm

    Your words speak truth. … I’m joined in prayer for God’s mercy.

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