Nature Mysticism

picture of flowering tree

I believe in all that has never yet been spoken
By Ranier Maria Rilke 
English version by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy
Original Language German

I believe in all that has never yet been spoken.
I want to free what waits within me
so that what no one has dared to wish for

may for once spring clear
without my contriving.

If this is arrogant, God, forgive me,
but this is what I need to say.
May what I do flow from me like a river,
no forcing and no holding back,
the way it is with children.

Then in these swelling and ebbing currents,
these deepening tides moving out, returning,
I will sing you as no one ever has,

streaming through widening channels
into the open sea.


Dear Ones,

Buddhist philosopher of ecology, Joanna Macy, says that when she’s talking about ecology but first begins with a poem, she notices people’s attention moves down deeper within their body. She calls the experiences of her childhood summers “nature mysticism.” It was in spending her days out of doors on her grandfather’s farm that made that time become vivid and real.

In the 1950s, when living in Germany and perusing at a bookstore, Macy discovered a beautiful book of Rilke’s poetry. Opening the cloth-bound volume, and reading the words printed on the rag paper, she realized that she was on a spiritual path, that God was all around her. She has found the images in Rilke’s poetry illuminating to her Buddhist teachings.

It is Joanna Macy’s translations of Rilke that so many English speakers use as regular spiritual touchstones to inspire their daily centering as well as support their environmental values.


All Community Gathering

Our UUA Western Region Staff Contact, the Rev. Sarah Gibb Millspaugh, will join us at UUFD on Zoom, this weekend, Saturday, May 8th at 10am for “Facing the Next Challenge…Together!” This will be a chance for you to share how you’re feeling about our return to in-person gatherings, whether your emotions come with excitement or trepidation, or a mixture of both. Mark your calendar. Here’s the link to join.


Come Sunday

The May theme of “Story” continues this Sunday. It’s Mother’s Day, and as a gift we’ll do another hynm sing, offering stories in song that hold our community through the ages. Join us this Sunday at 10am. Logon here.

Always in the Love,
The Rev. Katie Kandarian-Morris