Monday, January 26, 2009

Redwood Grove

google image
I listened to David Whyte speak this past weekend at Mt. Madonna in California. I love what I learned about redwood trees by watching them in the fog and soft air during the breaks we had. The way they stand so still in the quiet morning mist. The way the mist condenses on the leaves into large droplets that fall to the ground around the drip-line of the tree. The way that young redwoods spring up as shoots from the roots of the parent tree and form a perfect circle around it – right at the drip-line where the water, distilled from the mist, falls to the ground to nurture new young shoots. One day the taller parent tree may be lost to lightening, disease or age and when it is taken back by the earth just a circle of trees will remain.

It made me think of the questions that David Whyte’s workshop acknowledged. The questions that are rooted at our own edges remind me of the circle of trees that establish around the parent tree – right where the edges of the tree meet everything that the tree is not. One day the parent tree may be gone forever but genetically identical trees remain firmly rooted at exactly the place where its own raindrops imagined them. Just like one day we may stand in that place where our own important questions have taken root.

Redwood Grove

Standing in the mist
A feeling so familiar
That without thinking
I gently open my heart
And hold loving arms out
Into soft morning air
Leaving me certain
It is my branches
That draw water from the mist
Distilled just from the edge
Of where the tree
Touches everything that it is not
Forming heavy raindrops
That fall and mark the ground
Where, one day, I will stand
At the edge
Of my own empty circle

Monday, January 12, 2009

Dragonflies Greeting

Did your gentle heart
Sense my presence
On the summer breeze
Sweet scent of phlox
And freesia stirred
By a bold stride through
A dew-drenched garden

That scent
First gathered
Then carried
To your window
As a kiss
By the morning sun

Did you watch me
From your window
Riding the back
Of a fresh sea-breeze
Forming playful images
In clouds as I passed by

Now gathered
To your window
By the powerful hand
Of a larger Ocean's will
We find ourselves together
In this fleeting moment

The River

We are
The water
In the river
That flows
Through this place
But for our faith

The world
We embrace
invites us
To be
That we can

The river
May look
No different
From the outside
But inside
The water's dance
It is as open or as closed
As confined or as free
As we allow it
To be

Sunday, January 4, 2009

cotton comfort

photo by Paula Stoeke copyright 2004 all rights reserved

cotton comfort
long a friend
still serves you
your secrets
and your scent


Your Hand
On soft pine
The richness
Of its
Graceful character

Wood grain
That shared
Its gentle wisdom
With a leather
Aproned craftsman
200 years ago

Raised panel
Still stands
With a polished dignity
That speaks
Of his

Knowing hand