I was sleeping, and being comforted
by a cool breeze, when suddenly a gray dove
from a thicket sang and sobbed with longing,
and reminded me of my own passion.
I had been away from my own soul so long,
so late-sleeping, but that dove’s crying
woke me and made me cry. Praise
to all early-waking grievers!
~ Adi al-Riga
Came across the verse this morning.
Reminded me of a recent Sunday morning when I entered the sanctuary, and hearing the question, “Are you all ready to worshipz?” heard my spirit cry, “Yes!” And then I walked out.
Out of the sanctuary.
I didn’t know where. But I kept walking. I found myself moving to the far end of the field behind the church. It was a mild July morning, a cool breeze was blowing. And in the corner of the field, surrounded by lush green trees and bushes, I heard another symphony. A symphony of cooing pigeons perched on wires above me. And behind me up high in their nest atop the neighboring tower antenna, the screeches of birds of prey in their nest. The leaves quietly rustled in the breeze. Sparrows twittered as they flew by. No voices. No human sounds I could detect. Only the cooing, the screeching, the rustling, and my own breathing. Nature’s worship set. And to these sounds I added my own voice with raised hands, chanting Psalm 8 in Hebrew.
I was transported.
I had been away from my soul too long.
Unlike the poet’s experience, it was not early-waking grieving that I felt. But the gentle divine pumping of my heart, drawing my senses to the realities of soul and spirit, numbed by chemo, by life, by incessant noise.
I walked back refreshed. Ready for the conversations that awaited me to which I could now bring more than mind and intellect.
A reawakened soul.