Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All Simply in the spring of the year.
~First stanza of A Prayer in Spring by Robert Frost
Winter in Minnesota invites me to consider migration to somewhere warmer. The randomness of the temperatures. The long cold nights. The hope for safe roads. The colorless scene outside my window. I want for something different.
I can’t say the political and global climate calm me. The pandemic and the endlessness of variance keeps me eyeing the unmasked person wandering the aisles in Target. Maybe they are harboring the new strain.
I know too that it is prayer that has helped me these past many months.
In the book, when poets pray by Marilyn McEntyre*, the author relates this about prayer, “One of the functions of prayer is to bring us into the present. Whatever the prayer posture we assume- bowed head and closed eyes, hands lifted or open in our laps- the small discipline of quieting body and mind is how we commonly ‘come into the presence’ of God, who is always present, and in the present moment.”
As this winter season trudges along and as I move with the pandemic, it is this understanding that brings me back to where it is that God wants me to be.
I can stop and pray. In any instance and any stance.
Pray for help with patience and love of neighbor.
Pray for those on the front lines.
Pray for a better life for those in distress.
Pray for quiet of my soul that feels restless with grief and anxiety.
Pray for me to notice the birds hopscotching the trees as they make their way to the neighbor’s birdfeeders.
Pray to for me to hear the crunching of snow under my feet as I walk to the mailbox.
Pray for me to wonder at the many tiny footprints outside my backdoor.
Pray…and say “amen”.
* McEntyre, Marilyn, when poets pray (Grand Rapids, William B. Eerdmanns Publishing Co, 2019), 23.