if i follow the call of the whippoorwill
out from our burrow of blankets and slow breathing
over and into the shirt
shrugged over sleepy shoulders
downstairs to the kettle snoring steam
for the tea steeping in its yawning mug
out, out! past the screen door
anointed in moth-kisses
into a slowly waking world
will a blessing be out there, waiting?
whippoorwill, are you calling me to go
stirring my spirit as I stir this golden tea
as the sun shrugs its golden shoulders
whippoorwill, tell me, tell me how
you’ll bless me!
and you, dove with your mournful morning croon,
you, creek with the laughter bubbling up
from your valley nook below —
tell me how you’ll lavish me in blessings
only lavished upon those
here i go.
I wrote this poem on the getaway trip my wife and I took into the mountains of Northeast Georgia for our 2-year anniversary a couple weeks ago. The first evening we spent in our little cabin nestled in the trees, we heard a bird calling that neither of us had heard before – but my wife correctly guessed what it was because the call really did sound like “whip-poor-will.” That next morning, I awoke very early to the sound of that same bird calling. I stayed in bed a little longer, burrowed safe beside the love of my life, and then I rose to follow the call outward.
There truly is a special blessing in the world for those who awake early not to head off to work but to take that first inhale with the dawn…you can believe in the aliveness and interconnectedness of all things in that early morning glow. I felt Divinity all around as I made my way to the creek a little ways away from the cabin.