On retreat at a conference center
connected to the cathedral grounds
in Oklahoma City,
a group of spiritual directors
paired up
to make the Mirror Walk.
There were tree blossoms,
flower blossoms.
Tiny seeds had sprouted
two opposing green leaves
poking up through the tiny holes of a grate
around the base of a budding tree.
Robins were making nests.
A pigeon couple
was watching over their new babes
tucked high inside a gazebo.


One person closes their eyes
and another guides them,
points their face in the direction
of something in nature,
as if focusing a camera,
then says to their partner:
“Open your eyes
and look in the mirror.”
The exercise,
created by Joanna Macy,
is designed to help humans
begin to get in touch with
the fact that humans
are part of the natural world.



The moment when Nancy, focusing Steve’s face toward the pigeons and their nest full of babes,
tells him “Open your eyes and look in the mirror!”

Back home,
though we are only 80 miles north,
our springing is not as far along.
Two days ago
I saw the first Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
of the season.
This morning, for the first time this year,
Mockingbird was singing
his entire repertoire.
The Hackberry
leaves are unfurling.

As I look in these “mirrors,”
I wonder if I’ll ever
unfurl enough
from my human-centeredness
to grasp
the breadth and depth,
the exquisite beauty,
the incomprehensible myriad of details
in the life of which
I am a part;
the importance
of my job
as mere observer.