For my prayer this morning I have tried to unpack Jane Hirshfield’s poem about watermelons lying out in a field under the sun and stars, in the rain. Under the weather we might say! The poem is lavish with meaning. Read and pray this poem remembering that the watermelon is you.
Under stars in a field.
They lie under rain in a field
Are like this as well –
Like a painting
Hidden beneath another
An unexpected weight
The sign of their ripeness.
(Alaska Quarterly, Fall & Winter, 208)
I look in the mirror and see my face and I think: this is the face I show to the world and yet when I look deeper there is something more. Something is hidden beneath this face, something beautiful and unharvestable.
I walk through a field and see the watermelons growing there in all kinds of weather. I walk through the food market and see bins of fascinating melons, beautiful in there green striped attire, waiting to be chosen. I imagine the field they once lay in, the stars, sun and moon that shone upon them, the wind that caressed them.
And YES! Jane Hirshfield is right. Hidden beneath that first glimpse of the watermelon there is an exquisite world of scarlet delight—like a painting that hides beneath another painting.
The poet sees! You are not a poet because of what you write but because of how you see. Look in the mirror and wake up to layers of loveliness that you are.
Maybe this is what conversion is: connecting with the invisible face beneath the visible.
Today cherish the painting you are with its many layers of loveliness and loneliness.