O paradise, O child’s world!
Where all the grass lives
And all the animals are aware!
The huge sun, bigger than the house
Stands and dreams with life in the east
While in the west a thunder cloud
Moves away forever.
No blade of grass is not blessed
On this archetypal, cosmic hill,
This womb of mysteries.
Praying the “liturgy of the hours” is an old Christian monastic tradition that I had heard made its way into communidades de base in Central and South America, where priests available to celebrate the liturgy of the Eucharist were few and far between. Kathleen Deignan, whom I had met at Iona while I was a student at Manhattan College, has collected many poems and meditations of Thomas Merton into such a book. Though I am post-Catholic, I won’t cut those roots where they nourish. I still keep this book handy. Because it’s the Summer Solstice, I figured I’d open my “breviary,” to the appropriate reading, “Tuesday – Dawn,” and pick out something that spoke to the day. On such a day, it is easy to remember we live in a paradise.