April 8, 2013

Icon of Humanity



She knelt beside the neatly planted rows
of cummin, dill, and mint. The clear March sky
was bright; a flock of birds flew high.
She pinched a leaf;
                    then, suddenly, she froze —
a voice had spoken. There was no one there.
It spoke a second time; she looked around.
“How can this be?” she asked the vacant air.
Once more it spoke, yet there was not a sound.
She paused again; her answer in her mind.

In thirty years and three, her words would find
an echo: “Not my will, but thine be done,”
said in another garden by her son,
while three friends slept.
                           So here none heard her words —
except an angel, a high flight of birds,
and three neat rows of cummin, mint, and dill:
“Be it to me according to thy will.”

April 7, 1989
Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG



This poem first appeared in print on the cover of The Living Church in 1993, and on this blog in 2006. The image is a watercolor and pencil sketch after Rafaello, executed in Lent this year, which I've called "Blue Madonna."

5 comments:

Grandmère Mimi said...

Lovely and moving, Tobias, both the icon and the poem. It seems I was not alone in pondering the Incarnation during Lent.

Tobias Haller said...

Thanks, Mimi. I particularly hoped the image would show the strong family resemblance! Jesus says, "If you have seen me, you have seen the Father." But I think it is also true that we see his blessed mother, from whom all his humanity derives...

Grandmère Mimi said...

Tobias, now that you mention the family resemblance, it's plain. The icon and the poem served as a wonderful morning meditation, and I thank you for them.

JCF said...

What Mimi Said.

Tobias Haller said...

Thanks, JCF.