Nine days’ walk towards fire
In the time of gathering green;
Nine days’ wait towards Spirit come down,
To bridge the seen and unseen.
As tongues shall speak, so salt my words
With wind or quiet breath.
As over waters – soul’s rebirth –
So hover, merahepeth.
“Merahepeth” (מְרַחֶ֖פֶת) is a Hebrew word uniquely used in Genesis 1:2, where it refers to the Spirit of God hovering “over the face of the waters” in a manner similar to a mother bird brooding over her young. To me, it is an image of all-surrounding peace, yet – like a bird alighting – a peace that is not static. It is an active peace that is dynamic, free, and alive to change and possibility. It is not found within a status quo. It is a presence of the present moment – never a second before nor after.
A novena is a prayer said in sets of nine, often over nine days or nine hours. The past months have been a period of change, and as Pentecost and the return to “Ordinary Time” (what a designation) approaches, the above is my own novena to prepare for presence of mind, presence of mindfulness, presence of peace, and the balance of a bird hovering over turbulent waters. As each of your own lives may have need, I hope the same may find you.