Saturday, May 14, 2011


On the topic of trees, written, as with the last entry, at Song Circle, rather longer and more serious than those written by the others. I used to write a lot of poetry when I was in my teens and 20s, and not much since then, and touching back into this form of writing has been wonderful


Trees, so much the bones of my groundedness and my image of God's sheltering presence that they tower over my grabs at their impact on my limited span of time on this earth.

They are not moved by my hot air or windy self-importance, serenely knowing their own poetic justice.

Growing up the child of parents who couldn't nurture themselves or others, I looked to the trees that surrounded our house and dropped their leaves on our green-tiled roof that mimicked the canopy of nature.

Once a tornado jumped high above that roof and kept spinning away eastward. Several of our sheltering circle were laid down like long, still bodies, uprooted but unbroken. One fallen guardian lay a few feet from the house corner bedroom where I slept, but I didn't blame or fear the tree, only the winds, its master. In the gray morning I stood silent to mourn its standing.

There is nothing, and I mean nothing truly, that restores me to faith in life and the palpable sense of God's presence and still quiet of God's voice in my head so much as walking in an old forest. I amble, hands stuck in pockets, sustained by the root systems of trees that drink deep of the water of this and every eternity; I am buoyed by their branches that sway and mutter above me, I am protected by their soft canopy of green or gold or red in season, I am befriended by their tenants the squirrels who leap among their housetops, I am serenaded by cicadas awakened to new life among the creases of bark, I am dazzled by splashes of cardinals in winter.

Trees, the still companions to my solitude, my honored protectors, comforters, walking alongside me without stirring, deeply rooted guides to awareness of earth and time and presence and the gold-drenched fragrance of God's compassion.