Meanwhile Orion

Today I stepped out of the house to retrieve the morning newspaper and got a dose of eternity for my effort. There in the eastern sky was the moon well along in its last quarter, with bright Venus riding close by, while off to the south Orion kept silent vigil. In my hands was more news of the “messy bits” that life is (according to my friend Douglas’s recent Facebook posting); in my heart suddenly came the reminder that something much more is afoot than fills my field of vision most of the time.

Today’s newspaper, as it is every day, is full of reports of “wars and rumors of wars”; of an oppressive and unjust economy that cushions the rich and powerful and suffocates the rest of us; of petty or profound crimes in realms private and public; of, well, where does the list end? Most days it seems there’s reason to be in such dread of bringing such news into the house that I lose touch with why I do it at all.

This morning I heard other news, news as quiet as the music of the spheres that accompanies it. Orion brought a longer view into focus, a reminder that, in the words of Walt Whitman, “. . . behind all, firm and erect as ever, / Undismay’d amid the rapids–amid the irresistible and deadly urge, / Stands a helmsman, with brow elate and strong hand.”

Life’s messy bits clutter my mind and heart. Meanwhile Orion stands watch, knowing something more.

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