From Blossoms (by Li-Young Lee)
From blossoms comes
this brown paper bag of peaches
we bought from the boy
at the bend in the road where we turned toward
signs painted Peaches.
From laden boughs, from hands,
from sweet fellowship in the bins,
comes nectar at the roadside, succulent
peaches we devour, dusty skin and all,
comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat.
O, to take what we love inside,
to carry within us an orchard, to eat
not only the skin, but the shade,
not only the sugar, but the days, to hold
the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into
the round jubilance of peach.
There are days we live
as if death were nowhere
in the background; from joy
to joy to joy, from wing to wing,
from blossom to blossom to
impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.
Change me O God to live this way. Living with the intention to see all life as gift. Giving attention to everything as if it is a a gift. To receive everything as gift. Metaphorically even, to see the sign, to turn off the road, to buy the peach, see it, touch it, taste it and enjoy it. Life is rich. Life is a feast. Why do I take it for granted? Becasue I get too busy, too tired or too afraid. There’s too much to worry about isn’t there – life, death, taxes? In the worrying I miss life and all the little gifts which are actually quite extraordinary. So why worry? Life will take care of itself. For the life and love from which the peach comes – a dusty, ordinary, roadside peach – seems to somehow communicate to me that I’ll be OK too, all shall be well and I can live without fear from joy, to joy, to joy because I live in God. So to enjoy all the gifts along the way. To practice living right here and right now. If I can’t tap into happiness, and love and joy right here and right now and everything that matter in this moment, then I wonder if I’ll even be able to do it even after I die! For as St. Catherine of Siena implied, “All the way to heaven is heaven.” Or, “It’s heaven all the way to heaven, and it’s hell all the way to hell!”