Daily, I walk on this strip of sidewalk, passing by St Patrick's Church, and daily I think this is the most beautiful sidewalk in the world and then I check myself -- okay, maybe the most beautiful in Oakland. Okay, maybe West Oakland. Okay, maybe it doesn't need to be the 'most.' Maybe it is enough to feel beauty brush by as I walk, to inhale loveliness, to feel flowers like sunlight on my skin -- an indelicate confusion, an intimate prayer. . . not the sort of prayer desperate people send up to heaven (God help me with this, God save me from that) but quietness exhaled, a breathing for the grace of continuance.
Let the sun rise.
Let flowers drink the wind.
Let sky settle slowly and quietly on the day.
Let night come in waves.
Let me walk in beauty.
All around me there are fire crackers, rockets, and explosions load enough, large enough, to be small bombs. It is almost July 4, the day Americans celebrate their freedom by blowing things up -- a phenomenon I have never understood. Freedom is translucent, shimmering, and fragile. Bombs dense, dark, and sharp. How does the latter represent the former?
Why don't we celebrate our freedoms with flowers, with fragrance, with song?