Transfiguration at Dawn

Matthew 17:1-9

Something called the sleeper to wakefulness
to stand outside in the hour before dawn;
large flecks of snow arrowing out of the inky sky
looming suddenly, then swerving past.
They shush the interior chatter: “Be still.”
And as the unclad trees glow from within on the ridge–
the snow twines about like maypole ribbons

to communicate the light each flake has drawn into itself
before vanishing when earth is met.
Creation’s power burns within each trunk,
and transfigures scrub oak, fir, and cedar
to holy sentinels, proclaiming
that light breathing in slumbering possibility
in tree and stone and witness.
And the warmth of God’s pleasure stirs within each bole and body.

What is the origin of this light?
The forest switched on like Christmas trees,
vividly living against the night,

and the dark, silken, stars beyond a veil of cloud overhead.

They say when Moses was pulled up the holy mountain,
each cell vibrating and dancing like iron shavings over a magnet,
God’s glory rested upon the peak like wildfire cloud, and
he alighted face alit, God’s glow clinging to him like a shout. And when Jesus
took James, John, and Peter atop another, no less holy, prominence,
that fire, and that sacred love, came down,
and settled within and burst beyond that familiar, beloved body.
Jesus glowed like a sun, the true morning star
that guides weary wanderers home.
The air sizzled with God’s love,
stripping his friends of words but filling them with wonder.

And then they came down. The revelation remained unspoken
for a time.

The mountain can provide both a vista
and a frank reminder of the valleys that lie among us:
Jesus’s glory bursts forth from him,
twining around his friends and dazzling their hearts,
but the light has been there all the time.
God’s spark with our hearts likewise stirs,
and the holy atoms dance.

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