Biology: Course Review

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Biology: Course Review

If you forget what axons do,
or how a virus invades a cell,
remember this—

that light becomes food.
That the seasons rhyme,
a different word each time

turning soil into living song.
That all things work together.
Even death.  Even decay.

That this is the way
of the world we got: what is given
grows by grace and care

and knows what it needs.
That life is strong, and precarious,
full of devices and desires.

That what we hold in common
may not be owned.  Control
is costly.  Close attention

is the reverence due
whatever lives and moves,
mutant and quick and clever.

That our neighbors—
the plankton, the white pine,
the busy nematodes–

serve us best
in reciprocal gratitude:
what they receive, they give.

The way the heart accepts
what the vein delivers and sends it on,
again.  Again.

(see at

The world for which you have been so carefully prepared

is being taken away from you

by the grace of God.

– Bruggeman –

Birth keeps happening.

Small empty hands curl

around our hopes and hold

us captive. A child’s needs

are gifts. We learn again what

can be taught only from the cradle—

pure pleasure in the body’s

many miracles, full-bellied

laughter over falling things.

Small spaces in the heart open

wider as we linger, putting off

what seemed to matter more.

Death keeps happening, too:

Fires burn a path through

tended gardens and offices

where good stewards sat at work,

unaware that every page would feed

an hour’s ravenous flames.

A young man’s body is wracked

with disease. Another’s, crushed

between metal and slick road.

Fierce as the love that lets us

live to see such loss is the hunger

for life it leaves behind.

Before the backward glance

a new landscape stretches, newly

familiar. That was then—

now is a place of decisions

we do not need to make in fear

or haste. What we know

is sufficient for the day. We

speak the words at hand, water

the plants and watch

for small birds in the sycamore tree.

Grace keeps happening. Old friends

invite us, and new ones. We listen

for summonings, subtler now

than when every morning’s alarm

set us on a known path.

The call of the moment takes us by surprise.

Every assent resets our course:

Begin now. And now. Begin again.