Thursday, April 30, 2020

Trusting resilience

So delicate, these flowers and these fronds,
Yet they return each year,
With no encouragement or labor from me.
I’ve come to trust in their resilience;
How can I learn to trust in my own?

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Dancing in the wind

And now the season comes 
When the bright poppies — uninvited guests —
Unfurl their golden skirts and lift 
their faces to the sun.
We watch from behind closed windows, masked,
And remember how it felt
To dance together in the wind...

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

After this pruning

Seeing the fruit trees, wild, and free,
Blooming again after the long cold winter,
Lavish in their impending fruitfulness —
How can we not believe and trust
That after this harsh pruning 
We’ll rebound, renewed in vigor,
Refreshed, resilient, and teeming with new life?

Monday, April 27, 2020

Beauty in a world of pain

The lush abundance blooming in my garden,
Flowers clustering together to greet the sun:
Stark contrast to the empty stores and streets,
The lonely ones who sit at home
In dark apartments wondering
How they’ll pay the rent
Or keep small businesses afloat;
The hospitals where no one visits
And family members die in isolation.
Such beauty in a world of so much pain...

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Resisting house arrest

Like boats, trapped in a harbor,
We impatiently await our chance 
To dance again before the wind.
Bouncing against the waves,
We give voice to our frustrations
With loud creaks and sighs;
Bumping noisily against the dock,
Straining at the ties that keep us safe.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Welcoming what’s next

With a wild extravagance,
My camellia tosses her petals to the grass:
A rosy carpet to welcome her lover, spring.
What I mourn as loss, she celebrates:
The next phase of her life; a time for growth.

Friday, April 24, 2020

These gray days

Ah, these gray days, the sameness of them—
They seem to go on forever,
Stretching out before us to infinity,
As if some dark, unimaginable end
Lies waiting in the hungry clouds,
Devouring any light or hope
We manage to generate.
Perhaps instead of looking out
We need to start looking in...

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Waiting for the fog to lift

For now it’s hard to see beyond
The rules that keep us trapped:
Beyond this rough-hewn isolation
Disease hovers like a fog.
But we can choose to lift our eyes
And trust the light still waits for us,
And know that when the fog is gone
The promise of the future will return.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Mourning the losses

Yesterday I had to authorize with a moment’s notice
The removal of a perfectly healthy tree.
I couldn’t watch, but later my heart ached
To see her lying there,
Her roots torn out of the nurturing earth,
Her branches blooming madly with blossoms 
That would never now bear fruit.
How is it that I feel such guilt and loss 
For a tree, a simple tree,
When all around us, 
So many have lost so much?

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Ready to flower again

However battered and bruised we may be
By current circumstances,
New life and growth are always a possibility.
What was planted in you at birth is perennial,
And will return again at the first sign of light.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Simple pleasures

Perhaps this time apart,
Away from the fuss and flurry of society,
Is meant to remind us of the simpler pleasures:
Light falling on a stump;
The way the dandelions bob their fluffy heads 
Like yellow boats on a deep blue sea;
Or just the luxury of being able
To breathe.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Staying grounded

Left to our own devices,
Moods grow unpredictable:
Sometimes light, often dark,
Occasionally spiraling out of control...
What can we do today to keep
From flying off the handle?
Extend a hand to help somebody else:
Togetherness will help us to stay grounded.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Who are we becoming?

Like the boards of an ancient fence now set aside,
Without purpose, stuck in place, 
I fear I will grow mossy:
Indistinguishable from my surroundings,
I might fade into the earth from which I sprung.
But is it really purpose that I lack, 
Or simply validation?
Who do we become when no one’s watching?

Friday, April 17, 2020

Welcome the light

Let’s greet the new day as cheerfully
As this tiny daisy in my lawn,
Grateful for another opportunity
To welcome and reflect back the light
In some small way.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

A time to heal

Whatever masks we wear to protect ourselves
Must eventually be stripped away,
Only to reveal the wounds beneath.
Now, in this blessed time of silence and solitude,
We no longer can ignore 
The heartbreak that divides us.
What steps will we take today to heal
These ancient lacerations?

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

A simpler life

As the morning sun brings a blush
To the cheeks of the snow-capped mountains,
The farmer turns his now-fed horses
Out into the field and life goes on:
A simpler time, a simpler life,
To which we might aspire now:
A lonely life, but blessed in all
Its natural companions 
and the calm and steady pace
Of all its necessary labors.
How might we help this time to pass
With similar components: to rise, to feed,
To work to bring good things to life 
That nourish and sustain the world around us?

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

You are never alone

You are never alone.
The sea and sky, the moon and stars,
The grass and the trees, the distant hills,
The rocks and the sand are always with you,
Gentle reminders that even when
The sun has left the sky,
It will return, and what matters will endure.

Monday, April 13, 2020

In the shadows

Make the time to look beneath
The leaves of our exigency,
And you will discover:
Hidden in the shadows,
Growing quietly in the dark,
Impelled by these challenges,
Something new is being born.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Open our hearts to love

The time has come:
The great stone has rolled away; the gate is open;
The flowering of love has begun.
Now is the time to release old hurts,
The words once said in anger; to drop
The pencil in your mind that’s keeping score;
Now is the time to open our hearts to love.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

What will be resurrected?

What is it, that we have thrown into the cave as lost,
And what is it that will be resurrected?
I pray that what will rise again
Will be compassion, and kindness;
Empathy, and hope,
And a genuine care for all Creation...

Friday, April 10, 2020

On Good Friday

On a day when much of the world is dark
And worshiping mournfully in seclusion,
The flowers continue to open their hearts to the sun.
Bright message of hope,
Bright promise of renewal,
They remind us not to regret the past,
But to celebrate whatever beauty 
Lies buried in the now, waiting to bloom.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

In for repairs

Every engine needs a little downtime.
Just because ours are out of the water for a bit,
That doesn’t mean they’ll never work again.
Think of this as maintenance time;
Time to sand off the rust and grease the moving parts
So when we’re ready to go back out again
We can go full speed ahead. So:
What can we do today
To help bring ourselves up to speed?

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Embraced by the shadows

Glancing out my kitchen window,
I find my heart captivated by the shadows on a tree.
What is it that the heart sees that triggers hope?
Is it the way those dark fingers
So lovingly embrace the tree? 
Or is it just the way these shadows
Remind us to appreciate the light...

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Remembering freedom

Sheltering in place, I stand
And watch from my window,
Remembering what it felt like to be free...

Monday, April 6, 2020

Within these fierce constraints

Within these fierce constraints
There can still be joy and beauty:
Compressed by circumstances
They can flare all the brighter.
Beneath the masks, behind our doors,
In the safety of not performing before a crowd,
There could be a gentle kind of freedom
To become more fully, more wholly, ourselves.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Palm Sunday

We hold in our hearts a prayer
For all who walk alone; for all the vulnerable;
For all the church doors, once open, now closed;
For those who've died, and for all the ones who loved them;
For all the ones still working to serve,
And all the ones who now are unemployed;
For all the colors, slowly being leached
Out of a world awash in grief:
We no longer wave our palms,
We simply wash them,
And over.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

An opportunity to evolve

Think of yourself as a flower,
Trapped inside a home you’re fast outgrowing;
Safely protected by nature, but itching to bloom.
A restless teen, chafing under parental restrictions;
A butterfly, trapped in her cocoon;
An infant, kicking against a womb
In impatience to be born —
None of these stop growing in confinement,
But rather use the time to become more fully
What they were born to be...
How will we evolve in this time of containment?

Friday, April 3, 2020

Fins flashing among the weeds

Being mostly water, 
we humans tend to mirror back
The colors of our surroundings,
So it’s no wonder we’re all feeling a little gray
With all the dark clouds in our future.
Just remember: below the surface
There are all those bright ideas 
and possibilities, swimming back and forth,
Fins flashing among the weeds.
Perhaps now is a good time to dive deeper...

Thursday, April 2, 2020

A time to dream

There Will be a life after this.
It won’t be the same as our life before,
But what if, instead of worrying,
We used this time apart to dream
Of what life Could be;
To imagine what might make our spirits soar?

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Patiently awaiting rebirth

As the camellia drops her petals,
My azalea bravely surges forth,
Her first blooms in three years.
I thought she’d died in last year’s frost,
But instead it seems that brought her 
back to life: a minor miracle 
to remind us that the hard stuff — 
the prunings and the frosts — 
Can serve to free us and to bring 
New efflorescence and vivacity to life:
Together we are patiently awaiting rebirth.