Poems & Musings

Butterfly (3/4, Lifecycle)

There is nothing so magical as the moment when a butterfly emerges from its chrysalis. I never get tired of it, and it never fails to bring a smile to my lips…

Chrysalis (2/4, Lifecycle)

“God calls the caterpillar to the cocoon.” That sentence came to me with the force of a revelation of special meaning. To most people it sounds odd, banal or silly, to others obvious. But to me it was a thunderbolt, a pronouncement that explained what was happening to me. . .

Caterpillar (1/4, Lifecycle)

If you ask me, in the world of analogy, caterpillars get a bum rap. True, they do suffer by comparison with their flashy, post-metamorphosized selves, but let’s be fair. Caterpillars are fascinating in their own right. . .

Water Drop

from leaf tip
a single shining orb
rushes down towards
its twin rushing up
to merge and disappear
in still water . . .

God’s Big Book of Creation

When my kids were little, they were big fans of Richard Scary’s Best Word Book Ever, which we called simply, “The Big Book.” Weighing in at 1.5 pounds and 70 pages (an incredible size for a book written for 3- to 7-year-olds), the detailed illustrations in this hefty tome would keep them occupied for, well, if not literally hours, long periods for preschoolers! But today I want to talk about a different Big Book. . .

PLAYFULNESS (10/10, Blessing of the Trees)

I had not been studying spiritual direction long when my new spiritual director asked me what seemed to me a strange question. “What do you do for fun?” she asked. “Not much,” I responded. Even when I was a kid, at least from about middle school age, I was all about productivity. I used to get exasperated with schoolmates who sauntered leisurely down the hall between classes with their friends. My pace was always a brisk speedwalk, usually with an open book in my hands, trying to eek out a paragraph while searching for a narrow passage to get past the living speedbumps in my way. . .

HOSPITALITY (9/10, Blessing of the Trees)

A tree is not solitary organism — far from it! In addition to its connection to other trees through its root system, as described in a previous blog post, it provides homes and shelter to birds and animals, to insects, moss and lichen. It “lives intimately” with all kinds of other creatures and living things. . .

Morning Glory

a tubular shoot / tightly coiled / tense and closed / petals hoarding, protecting / something private / and oh so tender . . .

GROWTH (8/10, Blessing of the Trees)

As a recovering perfectionist, I understand something known in the study of human dysfunction as “unrelenting standards.” Someone with this schema, or deeply held belief or outlook, tends to see things as black or white, good or bad, the right way or the wrong way . . .

Walking the Edge of the Precipice

Only a few inches separated me from wide open air and a long, long way to the bottom of the canyon. No railing, no nothing. The void to my right, I kept leaning and veering to the rougher left shoulder of the path, which added to my feeling of the world being off kilter, to my doubting my sense of balance. . .

PERSISTENCE (7/10, Blessing of the Trees)

Desire can be a scary thing. Those of us who have had our desires thwarted as children have learned to lower our expectations, to settle for giving other people what they want (rather than pursuing what we want) in exchange for their approval. We don’t trust our own desire, even in the spiritual realm. . .

RESPONSIVENESS (6/10, Blessing of the Trees)

A tree is a creature of both the earth and the sky. Rooted, it spends its entire life in one spot. Yet, despite its stationary nature, it is anything but rigid. On the contrary, in the presence of even the slightest breeze, it bends, sways, and even speaks!

CONNECTION (5/10, Blessing of the Trees)

Trees are communal creatures who thrive in dense communities we call forests. In his book, The Hidden Life of Trees, Peter Wohleben, a forester in Germany, tells of finding the remnants of a 5-foot stump of a tree that had evidently been felled at least 400-500 years ago, which was still being kept alive, without the benefit of its own photosynthesis, by the surrounding trees, which were feeding it through interconnected roots.

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