On Earth Day, April 22, we will compost our Rainbow prayers collected over this past year. We’ve done this for the last several years, as shown by these pictures.
Rosi found a beautiful hymn for this occasion, which you can listen to here:
Silence my soul these trees are prayers
I asked the tree, tell me about God. . .Then it blossomed
Silence my soul the sun is prayer. . .Then is shined
Silence my soul the moon is prayer. . .Then it glowed
Silence my soul the earth is prayer. . .Then it gave life.
This will be especially meaningful to do this coming Sunday given the fact that yesterday, one of Rainbow’s charter members died at the age of 95. His name was Leo and he would have been 96 on April 30. Leo came into the world in spring and he died in spring. And during his long and meaningful life, Leo saw countless flowers bloom and die, bloom and die, and on and on. He was so thoughtful about the birth and death cycle of all things, including his own inevitable death.
A few months ago I asked Leo what his favorite spring flower was and he said the daffodils. They are the reliable and sturdy ones, often able to bounce back even after a late spring freeze.
And so in honor of Leo, this morning I held the cylinder of Rainbow prayers and recited this poem by John Keats called “A thing of beauty.” May Leo rest in peace, and may our prayers, lives, and death blossom in God’s unfolding of time and eternity.
A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its lovliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o’er-darkn’d ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
‘Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven’s brink.