At the Hedge

The Word of God, solitary, magnificent amid the vicissitudes of human history, turns to me, his face shining from his vision of the Father, and speaks to me. As in all human love, only more so, I am exposed; I have no one to hide behind. Each occasion is the first and only time, and love’s Yes is as fresh as the days of creation. (Hans Urs von Balthasar)

“At the Hedge”

We are unhappy gods
A strange, discontented race
Whose paradise is ourselves
Whose experience is our drug
We gorge ourselves on the world
We grasp, grab at passing pleasures
Me, me, me…

If we were given a garden again
A second chance, second Eden
In the wide stretches of our weary land
We could fill the place with perfect people
And wish them luck
The gentlest, fairest, kindest of our kind
Of equal beauty
All gorgeous and gracious
And God walking about
Warm and naked and in love
And laughing with fruit in our teeth

Still the itch, within, would itch
Though all without was well
The madness would remain
And we’d fight, and complain
And use each other
And we’d litter
Then look for something else

If paradise which was lost was found
And we had a chance to look around
Guarded and given all, yes all
We would soon be at the hedge

Prying and trying to peer about
What else, where else, something else
Pacing the paths, by dawn and dusk
Feeling the wall under ivy leaves
For a ladder, to leave, to find reprieve
What else, where else, something else

We dream of being happy
While we’re not

Here, Eden is given
Only in giving hands
In pieces and in moments
In the few faces which actually look back
When we pass them on the way
Drawn out wildly from their cell of self
And rising from their varied beds
To look upon the world
A glimmer of God’s own light
Dancing in their eyes

We are unhappy gods
Though some have found their way

Image: Dave Catchpole, Hidcote Manor Garden (CC BY 2.0)

About this Brother:

Br. Timothy Danaher, O.P.

Br. Timothy Danaher entered the Order of Preachers in 2011. He is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, where he studied Theology and American Literature. Before Dominican life he worked as a life guard in San Diego, CA, and as a youth minister in Denver, CO. On DominicanFriars.org