(for G and M; A and C)

Just last week
the world felt small as a clenched fist
the impending winter
a blow to the gut-
not with beauty but with tasks
and impending storms,
work piled like a threat:
snowclearing and wood-carrying,
day after day after day.
It all loomed, a tight squeeze.

Then, between breaths,
unbidden, even uninvited,
fullness unfolded,
and the world opened
like lily petals
revealing centered gold.

Light appeared
  loosening the clench
and it was more wonderful
than I can tell you
except to say
that Light was present
all the time. Light
and a kind of glowing comfort
made visible in food and laughter
stories and wonder.
The world held us tenderly,
and so we held each other.


The golden leaves
carpeting the ground
are the same leaves
that three weeks ago
were the forest's wallpaper.

This laughter and these eager gifts -
books and insight, travel and new
disturbing questions
have become now
a sweet, aching silence,
time's scrapbook
holding a timeless collection
of gratitude and loss.

What is all this coming and going
except time unfolding the world -
that great barge, bowing and surging -
sometimes too slow,
sometimes too quickly,
always towards a place
we cannot sufficiently name:

*"Communitas is the shared experience of adventure in the face of something so worth living for as to be worth dying for, the common commitment to an impossible dream, radical and revolutionary, imaginative and indomitable, energetic and exultant, fragile, ferocious. Only communitas can seek the wind, the Spirit who will fan the flickering flame into a roaring fire..." (Gittens, 2000)