Is the soul solid, like iron?

I love this photograph. Many years ago when I stopped on the Isle of Mull, on my way to Iona, there they were, in plain view and in hiding. I was reminded right away of that gospel parable of the shepherd who had 100 sheep and one went missing. The shepherd searched and searched until it was found! We know that we are often that one in a hundred! There are many questions we are left asking on reading parts of scripture. There are many questions we would love God to answer, like the ones Mary Oliver asks, “Is the soul solid, like iron? Or is it tender and breakable, like the wings of a moth in the beak of an owl?” Please take a moment to enjoy Oliver’s poem and to ask a few questions along the way. Questions are often more important than answers, curiosity and doubt more delightful than certainty!

Some Questions You Might Ask
Is the soul solid, like iron?
Or is it tender and breakable, like
the wings of a moth in the beak of the owl?
Who has it, and who doesn’t?
I keep looking around me.
The face of the moose is as sad
as the face of Jesus.
The swan opens her white wings slowly.
In the fall, the black bear carries leaves into the darkness.
One question leads to another.
Does it have a shape? Like an iceberg?
Like the eye of a hummingbird?
Does it have one lung, like the snake and the scallop?
Why should I have it, and not the anteater
who loves her children?
Why should I have it, and not the camel?
Come to think of it, what about the maple trees?
What about the blue iris?
What about all the little stones, sitting alone in the moonlight?
What about roses, and lemons, and their shining leaves?
What about the grass? – Mary Oliver

The following prayer from Celtic Daily Prayer – from Northumbria Community is ascribed to Ninian of Whithorn – prayers for the blessing of the land and of life and whose life is celebrated on September 16th. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Saint-Ninian

Prayer:
As gulls
in hunger’s flight
keep to the boat’s track,
may we follow
in Ninian’s wake.
As we hunger
and thirst
for truth,
may we follow
in Ninian’s wake.
May we sound the depths of love
for Ninian’s
and for Christ’s sake.
Teach us to care for
all that is entrusted to us,
and nurture every sign of Your presence.
Circle our dear ones in Your love
and blessing; and protect us all
from evil and from danger.
Give us a generosity
that pushes back the boundaries,
for even death
by You has been defeated.
With all our powers
we find our power in You. Amen.

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