By Ruth Johnston

I happened upon them
one cold spring day, 

white-feathered bodies
like sunlit blossoms,
afloat on gentle water.
They rested, after
miles of sky traversed,
untold losses and gains
along the way. 

I was shot through by
their silence,
hidden energy
of a hundred beating hearts,

and visited
by the thought
that death
does not separate us off,
but pulls us in
to something like
this winged presence,
floating soundlessly,
part of the whole.   

Ruth Johnston currently works as a hospice grief counselor and lives with her spouse, teen-aged son, and cat in North Liberty, Iowa. Two favorite ways she connects with the Divine Spirit are through nature and writing. Ruth says:

I had the experience shared in the poem below, in Hudson, WI. We did not even know what kind of bird we had stumbled across until we asked a nearby stranger. While sitting in silence with these beautiful creatures, I experienced what I can only describe as a glimpse of eternity. Later, I wrote this poem.