Friday, October 15, 2010

A Tree Full of Angels

"When you can lovingly be present to yourself,
your presence to others takes on a deeper quality".

I read it in less than two hours. A magnificently languaged, numinous book by Wiederkehr, a Benedictine monastic. I admit the title pulled me into this book. The idea of seeing the 'holy in the extraordinary' has always been appealing to me.

She calls this process 'harvesting angels from the crumbs' while living in a theophanous, rather than corporeal, world. The hallowedness of nature becomes apparent early in her writing as she strives toward intentional awareness of life, cognizant of those tiny miracles which are so easy to overlook, yet within with are contained the truly extraordinary: a spider's web, morning dew, a falling leaf, or a tree full of angels.

Mostly, one chapter resonated with me: Little-Great-One, Come Home.

Little-Great-One, Come Home.

I repeated this several times.

Little-Great-One, Come Home, Little-Great-One, Come Home, Little-Great-One, Come Home.

Myriad gravel paths of interpretation in that simple phrase for me. Probably different than for the author, yet still meaningful.

Near the book's sunset, she cites an anonymous quote: When we walk to the edge of all the light we have, and we take that step into the darkness of the unknown, we must believe that one of two things will happen... there will be something for us to stand on or we will be taught to fly.

To soar from the darkness of suffering? Pain? Even Death?

Certainly the book is Divine-God-focused. Yet, it seems that even secular humanists who have been to the edge of all their light would appreciate this book.

Because there is a contradicting humble, holiness in nature and her miracles. Because there are morsels of holiness in those every day moments with our loved ones. Because a leaf dancing to the ground or a raindrop falling from the sky or a dragonfly skimming water or the sound of a running stream are all truly sacred experiences. We need only walk to the edge of all our light to truly see. And one day, our ruptured hearts - the ones that have seeped onto the floor and into the crevices beneath our feet- will be transformed by this darkness of which she speaks and be able to look past the mundane into the miracle.

And we realize with certainty that the extraordinary is wrapped in the ordinary.

Yes. She was. Yes. She is. And yes, the Little-Great-One came home.


Unknown said...

I read, re-read and re-read yet again your comments. I make a vow to myself, this moment, this hour, this day....A wish,A wish for myself...I wish for myself to look past the ordinary to see the extraodianry. To feel, really be in the moment of each extraordinary thing that happens. And to see and appreciate these moments as extraordinary and special and blessings to cherished.

Thank you for sharing this book and your thoughts with us. I hope someday that I will have the courage that you have and be brave enough to take that step into the darkness and I will learn to fly.

And I too, will come to understand and FULLY appreciate the statement and the various meanings it holds for me of "Little-One Come Home"

Dr. Joanne Cacciatore said...


Wyatt's Mommie said...

Hi there, I am new to your blog, but I already love it. I recently lost my son at 29 weeks and 1 day gestation after a happy healthy pregnancy that turned sad at 28 weeks. It was an IVF pregnancy, our one and only egg that was retrieved. We are now out of IVF coverage, have a hole in our hearts due to lossing our son, and I am struggling to move forward.
I can't wait to read further into your blog.
Today doesn't mark any milestone or special dates for me, but I have been struggling to come to grips with why the hospital issued a death certificate, but not a birth certificate. Just can't seem to understand how one dies but isn't born.

Look forward to reading more.... Much love, Megan

Dr. Joanne Cacciatore said...

Dear Mom of Wyatt,
I am so very sorry... just so sorry.

Wyatt's Mommie said...

I wanted to let you know that I did a post on you and your foundation tonight. Please feel free to visit:


Wyatt's Mommie said...

I wanted to let you know I posted about you and the MISS foundation tonight. Please feel free to visit my blog:



The soul still sings in the darkness telling of the beauty she found there; and daring us not to think that because she passed through such tortures of anguish, doubt, dread, and horror, as has been said, she ran any the more danger of being lost in the night. Nay, in the darkness did she, rather, find herself.

--St. John, Dark Night of the Soul

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