Mary Bilderback is a member of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. She has taught biology at Georgian Court University in Lakewood, New Jersey, for more than 25 years with the help of many poems. She continues to wonder how life can ever possibly hope to explain itself. She writes to pay attention.
"When death comes for me," he said, "I'm curious to meet her. I'm the last of my family and friends. I'm no longer afraid of dying alone. Within me," he looked down at his feet, "there is no alone. Same within within you." That was as clear a homily as I ever heard from my fisherman friend.
Now, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, it's hand-washing that is the very big deal. We wash our own hands. Over and over. We wash them for each other: ritual — the Resilience of Reciprocity.
I don't think we were meant to treat each other mindlessly — rats included. And on and on, up and down the great chain of beings. Oceans included. And all our wild, wet kin.
Everywhere, lying just beneath the surface of what can easily be reported and sensibly explained, some curious presence is reaching out to us — barefoot — as we reach out to it.