Saturday 27th June – Icon of the Day
“Make of yourself a light”
said the Buddha,
before he died.
I think of this every morning
as the east begins
to tear off its many clouds
of darkness, to send up the first
signal-a white fan
streaked with pink and violet,
An old man, he lay down
between two sala trees,
and he might have said anything,
knowing it was his final hour.
The light burns upward,
it thickens and settles over the fields.
Around him, the villagers gathered
and stretched forward to listen.
Even before the sun itself
hangs, disattached, in the blue air,
I am touched everywhere
by its ocean of yellow waves.
No doubt he thought of everything
that had happened in his difficult life.
And then I feel the sun itself
as it blazes over the hills,
like a million flowers on fire -
clearly I’m not needed,
yet I feel myself turning
into something of inexplicable value.
Slowly, beneath the branches,
he raised his head.
He looked into the faces of that frightened crowd. ‘The Buddha’s Last Instruction’
From ‘House of Light’ by Mary Oliver
Image: The Rho Ophiuchi cloud complex (pronounced ‘oh-fee-yoo-ki’ and named after a bright star in the region) is one of the nearest star-forming regions to Earth.
Photo: From NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Explorer, or WISE, April 2011; courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/WISE Team.
In St Mary’s prayer cycle for June 2020, today we pray for areas of conflict around the world that have been overlooked in the news recently.
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