Feb 24, 2012 0 Share

Loving Heart, Spiritually Free

Photo illustration of water with moon rising and birds and fish.
Artwork by Michele Langlo

Quiet Nights

by Cody Hughes-Langlo


Way above planet earth

Into dark

Getting cups of tea

Into quiet nights

By fires

Onto planet living

Into Rocky Mountains

Into cold air

Into see and, say

Beauty of trust

Companies of novae

Like a 9-year-old

Living like frogs

Onto earth,

Climbing out into the snow

Like having some supper

Like coyotes and frogs and cows

And horses underneath the moon

Into quiet.night

Now into Christmas

Darkness and clouds

Bringing by the fire, books

Keeping warm

See and say

About ducks and cats

Dogs and roosters

Quiet nights

Bringing by campfire

To the bottom of the earth

Reaching out

Nice and quiet darkness

At night bringing by the fireplace

Taking, hands in the dark

Nice and quiet nights by fires

When I wear coats

See and say

Like quiet nights into darkness

Believing in planet Earth.

And reaching out

Bringing taking hands

And skiing

People sometimes look at those with developmental challenges and assume they have no capabilities to even understand spiritual realms much less be in harmony with them. I often find myself in awe at how spiritually attuned Cody is. I don’t just speak strictly in terms of religion, but how connected he seems to be with the entire universe around him.

I see evidence of Cody’s spirituality in many different ways and at different times. Not only because he can say The Lord’s Prayer and The Apostle’s Creed without hesitation or flaw, and not just because of his own heartfelt prayers he says at bedtime—each night with different assertions of thanks and praise, and appeals for the needs of loved ones to be granted, which he does with amazing eloquence and grace, and yet, with so little effort. But this resilient spirituality of his seems to manifest itself in ways that has at times left me in great wonder.

I shall never forget when Cody was 12 and my sister, who had been ill for some time, passed away. Cody had been at his grandmother’s house. Upon leaving my sister’s home we went to pick him up. On our way home Bill and I had gathered the courage to tell him the unhappy news. Bill had no more than mentioned that we had just come from Aunt Becky’s house when Cody said with sad resolve, “She died.” There was no way anyone could have told him previously. No one at his grandmother’s house knew of her passing until we arrived to pick him up. And he was well out of ear shot when I had informed his grandmother and another aunt who was there at the time.

A couple of years before, we had been visiting my parents and went for a walk around their farm. Their land consisted of 40 acres, two-thirds of which was pasture land and the remaining third was wooded. We decided to walk through the woods to see if we could find any new plant life we hadn’t noticed before. There was a spot where there was a small clearing amongst the trees. Out of the blue, Cody said, “Here’s where Mommy and Bill and Cody’s new, blue house will be.” There had been no discussion of any such plan. The thought had not crossed our minds … until then. But we had to consider the feasibility of it.

Bill had been working for a contractor who was struggling financially. He was just about to be laid off from work. I thought there would be no way we could build a house at this time in our lives. And would my parents even agree?

We decided to go through with the proceedings. When it all worked out, my parents not only agreed, but the final paychecks Bill received from the contractor he worked for was from the construction loan to build our house. In the meantime he was able to secure another job. To Cody, this all seemed like a natural flow of events. To us, it was a thousand miracles that it ever happened. That was 15 years ago and we have lived here ever since.

There are times when I now question if Cody’s spiritual gifts are appearing in the guise of his imagination. He likes to write. While the sentence structure of his writing seems somewhat jumbled in some of his work, other examples of his work resemble works of prose that reflect the same kind of brilliant imagery you might read in the works of Czeslaw Milosz. I ponder how he thinks of these things. His expansion of the story of “The Ugly Duckling” is a prime example. In Cody’s version the ugly duckling turned into a swan that turned into a fish that turned into an eagle and flew away into the sky. It is almost a parallel with Native American legends and spiritual parables I have read. We have Native American heritage and so it causes me to consider the possibilities of a link between his creativity and the spiritual awareness that has come from our ancestors. Could it be?

His most recent story is about a coyote that waits for him at his Aunt Carolyn’s house. They are friends and they share many things with each other. Here again, is a picturesque likeness of the same spiritual connection that Native Americans of both past and present have with all of creation.