Land that was desolate, impassable,
is forest now where secrets find their voices.
The desert is inhabited and blooms.
One with the meadow, wilderness rejoices.
Lebanon’s glory is its green possession
and Carmel’s beauty. Visited by love,
wastelands are pastures for the Lamb at midday,
And living solitudes to hold the Dove.
Never again will patriarch prefigure
Or lean precursor walk or prophet call.
Here is fulfillment. One has come and given
the Spirit Who is flame and festival.
Sower and Sown are here. The bright groves flourish
and burn toward islands in the utmost sea.
Time has become a wilderness of presence
which too is essence of its jubilee.
Earth keeps its season and its liturgy,
as should the soul. Oh, come, green summer, blur
these wastes and let my soul in song declare
Who came by flesh and Who by fire to her.
Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit, O.C.D. (Jessica Powers)
And Wilderness Rejoices (1952; 1984)
Powers, J 1999, The Selected Poetry of Jessica Powers, ICS Publications, Washington DC.
Featured image: This stunning photo was taken in northern Nevada’s 25,000 acre Pine Forest Range Wilderness. The area is an island in the sky rising almost 6,000 feet above the desert floor to peaks that top out at just below 10,000 feet. The range has been glaciated, and has several cirque lakes which are very uncommon in the Great Basin—the largest, Blue Lake, is shown in the image “reflection.” The 4-wheel-drive access route travels through huge patches of aspen interspersed with meadows/sage (aspen)—Whitebark and Limber Pine cover the peaks giving the area its name. In mid-July 2016 when this photo was taken, the wildflower bloom in the west had moved to the highest elevations. This part of Nevada is as dark as anywhere in the continental U.S. so the Milky Way is very visible! Photo credit: Photographers Bob Wick or Rita Ayers for BLM Nevada / Flickr (Some rights reserved).