Each and All

By Glenda | December 13, 2012

The coldest night of the year. Awakened in the early morning by a red cardinal pecking on the window, I stir finally out of the warm nest of my bedcovers. When I look out the window, a glittering clear frost covers everything.

Wrapped in a thick red robe (that new fabric that is so deliciously soft), I venture out to greet the world. The crows protest my intrusion into the silence, my crackling footsteps on frozen leaves of grass. The dog, let out with me, wildly chases six deer from the garden path. The stiffness of my aging back as I bend, gathering up an armload of wood to carry back inside, reminds me how grateful I feel to be able still to do this ancient ritual, this tending of the hearth.

Then, back inside, the familiar creaking sound of the hinges, cast-iron on cast-iron, of the woodstove door, and the glass of the door darkened as always by the long, slow, overnight burn. But within the stove, amid the ashes, the embers remain, ready to flame back into life with the placing, carefully, of a stick of this dense red oak, wood from the big tree that died last year in the drought, its huge limbs cut and so recently split by some of the folks at the Thanksgiving gathering.

When the fire in the woodstove is blazing again, with its occasional sparks, settling shifts, and subtle murmurs, I sit with a cup of hot tea, reading from a book. The rambling of another mystic’s journal brings me welcome companionship in my own solitude.

This morning I take the time, unusual for me lately, for a sort of reinstatement of my paradoxical personal philosophy. Honed by a lifetime of attention to all the various Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Native American, Goddess affirming, Life affirming, Earth affirming, every other kind and sort of cross-cultural mythology, leaving nothing out, searching through the depth and breadth of spiritual enlightenment, in all its variety—from these I have been enriched beyond measure.

Yet, as always, as I turn from my book, I look around me. And then all philosophies, essential as they are, seem as nothing compared to the impact and value of just, say, the colors of one leaf of the oak-leaf hydrangea, a tall plant seen through the window, its leaves turning color—red, yellow, coral, pale green, a bit of bug-eaten brown even.

This seeing, this deep seeing, and sharing, and loving, loving it, each and all of it, this is the very living of my precious philosophy, I suppose.

Bless the leaf, bless the grain and splinters of the wood, bless the bite of the cold wind, bless the glistening ice, and bless the smart black crow. Bless, too, my own self, my waywardness, my sometimes numbness and foolishness, my stubborn everythingness, my nothingness, my “Yes, that! Not that!”

I acknowledge both the precious intimacy and beauty of each individual momentary manifestation (Grandmother) unfurling out of the never-ending possibilities of the (philosophical and actual) Void Itself (Grandfather) . The Each and the All.

Yes. Blessings be upon us this morning, each and all.

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