[A Walking Meditation on the Feast of Saint Francis; 4 October 2013]
- Montague Whitsel
Walking alone in solitude in the woods,
I met Francis at a stream,
where he was crossing
stone to stone and mud to sand
near the cross-hairs of immanent transcendence.
I said “hello_” tentative in presence,
but it was a dream,
and I was walking awake in the world!
I haven’t seen or talked with Francis
for a while_ I told myself,
as the dream continued to play out
Francis was playing
at the stream’s flux and flow,
dancing from ripple to trough,
selflessly laughing to himself_
unaware of being watched
from such a far-stationed nearness.
On this side of the sídhe, I yet could hide.
He grasped a fish in both hands,
and stumbled forward off a stone
on which he was standing,
laughing as he bumbled forward,
splash after muddy splash,
with the fish wriggling in his hands.
“I have become a fisher of fish!” he cried,
in a cornucopia of denuded joy
that was as infectious as his laugh!
I laughed, too_ and the dream faded from view.
And there in the aftermath I was left_
standing in the stream
on this side of the sídhe,
feeling completely revived and re-inspired_
to become what I am at my best.
I wept for this impromptu meeting with Francis,
and cherished each frame
of the dream-sequence_
‘til I had imbibed it so fully –
into the celluloid of my own soul –
that I could perhaps
re-enact the film myself as myself
someday along the Way.