There’s a family of talking robins on our farm. They channel the wisdom of the ages. Last spring as I was taking this photograph, the robin starts quoting Tolstoy: “In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you.”
Chastened, I did. Camera down, I just sat.
After a while the robin impersonates Yogi Berra: “You can observe a lot just by watching.”
A magnetic sticker on our fridge quotes the Torah: bending over each blade of grass is a guardian angel whispering, “Grow. Grow.” In spring, it’s not just grass that gets that attention, but every living thing. And the collective hum of those angelic voices is like singing in the shower with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Babies born in this vibration have been known to float in air above their bassinets.
Hey, I know. My younger son arrived April 16, not infrequently the day the last bit of ice melts on our swimming pond. Instantly, a million frogs looking for action begin croaking happy birthday. Beethoven doesn’t get that loud.
Anyway, watching, listening, I hear that pesky robin issue a challenge. Spouting Emerson: “To the dull mind all of nature is leaden. To the illumined mind the whole world burns and sparkles with light.”
I breathe in through every pore the earth’s endless embrace. I breathe out my entire life. I read somewhere that God comes when the vessel is empty.