With the sun cascading over the city I found myself cutting the lawn for the first time this year. The grass had finally attained the height that required mowing and so I cleaned up the old push mower and put it into action. The slow and steady rhythm of the push and pull of the mover and the sounds of the clicking blades and swishing grass filled my attention for about a half hour before I finally paused for a break. Hearing the cawing of some crows I stopped and listened to their cries from the telephone lines and rooftops. They seemed to be in full conversation with one another in a language I do not know but which I think I can sometimes understand. Then, beyond the crows, high in the clear blue sky the glide of a jet with its white pristine slipstream. I don’t know why on certain days the slipstreams of jets are more pronounced than on other days. It doesn’t really matter.
As I follow the slipstream I notice how it slowly begins to taper off and then begins to dissipate. There is a point where you can almost see the moisture merge with the air, where white becomes sky blue. It really is a marvel to watch for you can see where the signs of human creativity, the slipstream of a jet, mingle with the natural world. In some ways the path of the slipstream speaks to the mingling of the human and the Holy Beyond, the immanent and the transcendent, that runs the course of history and marks our world today.
It seems to me that the Holy Beyond is always present to us. This is the truth that mystics through the ages have unceasingly professed. It is up to me to pay attention and to turn my gaze upon the holy presence of the Beyond. Given this, I find this week, which is Holy Week in the Christian liturgical calendar, a good week to focus on the slipstreams of the Holy, those places and events where people have seen the mingling of the human and the divine, the immanent and the transcendent. My focusing is aided by the sacred stories that are told and remembered.
It seems to me that so much of what I know and understand about life and the quest for the Holy is connected to the slipstreams of these stories. Moreover, so many of the people who are important to me have been touched by these slipstreams of the Holy. It is because of this that I continue to keep looking outward to the world, to others, and to nature to see the mingling of the human and the divine alive in our world today. It is from within the mingling of the human and the divine that the creative spark of life ignites and sustains the pursuit of peace, justice, and sustainability. This pursuit is connected to the past and to the future much like a jet glides across the horizon leaving only its slipstream to amaze and to inspire.