Practicing resurrection

Daily Reading for April 17

I didn’t know where I was going, but I headed south and ended up at the Bosque del Apache. When I got out there, the light was turning to evening. I drove out to one of the dikes, and then pulled over and parked. None of the fancy birds were left: the sandhill cranes were gone as well as the snow geese. But there were red-winged blackbirds, Canada geese, and ducks, making their soft sounds. The light was falling evenly on the bull rushes, the yellow millet, and the water. A raven was dive-bombing each pond and the little birds rose and flocked before him and then settled back. Very suddenly, for the first time in months, I felt comforted. Here was life—birds, rushes, and water.

I was looking out at the bull rushes when I saw something else. I saw, or understood, that [my brother] Kit was there. His singular, unique life. He was there somehow, burning in the rushes, in the light and in the birds. It was as if his life was exploding into them, and was about to become them, and I had been given the miraculous luck to catch him just as he dove in. He was traveling at a great speed, it seemed to me, into the place where all things are alive. I reached toward him, hardly able to believe it, wanting to hold on to him and to the moment, sheltering my hope in doubt. I thought, He is alive.

From Practicing Resurrection: A Memoir of Doubt, Discernment, and Moments of Grace by Nora Gallagher (New York: Vintage Books, 2003).

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