Saturday, October 01, 2005

Prie-dieu

posted by Chet at 11:01 AM UTC

You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
          love what it loves.

A few lines from Mary Oliver's poem Wild Geese. I thought about them this morning as I knelt with my camera waiting for a chipmunk to reveal his soft nose at the hobbity door of its den in the roots of a white pine -- its front yard littered with husks, a kitchen midden of nibbled acorns and cones. But of course I was unsuccessful. My five-year-old digital camera has the habit of taking a deep breath before allowing a picture. By the time the shutter snapped and the flash flashed, the chipmunk had retreated. Still, it was a worthwhile wait, like those interminable Latin prayers we knelt through as children before the tinkle of bells announced the moment of miracle.