A Root in Each Act and Creature

Blog by Sr. Anne Lythgoe, OP

By Hafiz, Sufi master

The sun’s eyes are painting fields again.

Its lashes with expert strokes
Are sweeping across the land.

A great palette of light has embraced
This earth.

Hafiz, if just a little clay and water
Mixed in His bowl
Can yield such exquisite scents, sights,
Music – and whirling forms –

What unspeakable wonders must await with
The commencement of unfolding
Of the infinite number of petals
That are the

What excitement will renew your body
When we all begin to see
That His heart resides in

God has a root in each act and creature
That He draws His mysterious
Divine life from.

His eyes are painting fields again.

The Beloved with His own hands is tending,
Raising like a precious child,
Himself in

This poem was a central message of a retreat I made years ago. Now it speaks to me again, just as we enter the time of autumn where the leaves will know the great palette of light from the sun. And His eyes will be painting fields again.

The poem opens me up to know in a deep and penetrating way that God resides in me. I hear God say, “I made you.”  This never gets old, never loses its energy.

I just wish I could give attention to it more often.  What would it be like to always know that God resides in me? In each act? In all my feelings, aspirations, hopes, and wondering? What would it be like for me to so deeply realize how much I am rooted in God, rather, that God is rooted in me? And that, like this poem, God draws divine life from me, from you, from every human being and creature on earth?

I hope I see what God sees in other people, what God sees in the world around me. I hope the divine life that resides in those who hate, those who are angry, can one day be disarmed. I hope that the hearts of those who are angry and fearful can break open into peace. I’m thinking about that because we just marked 20 years since the September 11th attacks. And I’m feeling very helpless about the recent explosion of violence in our world these days.

God is rooted in every act and creature, in the leaf that turns to fiery red, in the painted fields, in the hearts of those who suffer. God is somewhere buried in the hearts of those who hate so intensely they can commit such violence. I can only wonder about it. It is mysterious to me — such capacity for hate— and I wonder how we can hold at the same time, such beauty in one hand and such darkness in the other.

Only God. Only God.

Posted in Weekly Word

8 responses to “A Root in Each Act and Creature

  1. Anne,
    This poem is sublime.
    It begs to be contemplated.

    I am especially touched by the stanza:
    “The Beloved with His own hands is tending,
    Raising like a precious child,
    Himself in


  2. Thanks for your wonderful reflection on the wonderful time of season of Fall. It has a special message for me because I am dealing with the COVID bug and only enjoy the fall from my window. God bless you.

  3. Thanks, Anne, the Fall touch is coming about here in Kansas
    in the red bud, black walnut, and maple trees showing some yellow in the turning… Happy Fall! Martina

  4. Thank you for this powerful reflection, Anne! I truly warms my heart, but also challenges me to look beyond good feelings and to pray and work for healing all around us.

    Peace and Blessings,

    1. Thanks, Anne. Hafiz’s poem and your words tell us God is in all and in the chaos that is part of everyone and everything in our world today. I look forward to seeing the sun painting as I go to retreat in October at Loretto.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.