Monday, May 24, 2010


Taking a step back

I looked into a universe of green.

Ferns among the blades of grass

Running wild and free

Pressing through layers in space.

Stitched together.

Grouped as if not to release

Even a singe one from the earth

But ferns are content in their subtle grasp.

They hold on gently to each other

Knowing all the while

There is much to be seen

through the many shades of green.

Week 21. Backgrounds

Ferns are remarkably strong yet delicate plants. They group together almost like a herd of animals. They can also flourish at a fast rate, just like any weed. Ferns are usually considered a “behind the scenes” kind of plant. They do not need the spotlight, preferring to take the back seat to focal flowers in bouquets. But ferns also hold on to each other in the most delicate fashion. They attach to each other through the fine details in the tips of their leaves, locking in a way that provides a kind of subtle support. There is a sort of wisdom in this ability to hold on gently. Supporting others with grace is truly a remarkable feat.

Friday, May 14, 2010

An old friend

Yesterday I stopped on my path where a tree had fallen.

There in front of me lay large branches with blooming flowers.

Odd flowers of varying shades of purple.

Long, tube like blossoms, looking downward.

Some of the purple tubes were missing in fact

and the centers were exposed.

I searched for a branch to take with me

as I always do,

and as I looked closer I saw that this was someone I knew.

I recognized the seedpods,

I knew it from my winter walks;

the days when these seeds were young and sweet and small.

I gathered them up back then.

When I knew nothing of what was to come.

Now, in it’s adolescence, the branches lay here before me.

And with mercy, carry it back home once again

so I may be reminded

of the resiliency and beauty

of youth.

Week 20. Revisiting and Recognizing.

While running one morning I came upon a group of large branches, which had fallen smack in the middle of my path. I noticed the beautiful purple flowers at first. Then after further inspection I saw that I knew this tree. It was one that I had admired for its gorgeous mustard pods, back in the winter (twisting tiny vines, week 11). This particular tree took me by surprise. It was like seeing an old friend who you don’t recognize at first. The flowering tree had had bloomed. It was spring and the tree was now in it’s adolescence stage and just beginning to mature. Stumbling upon this familiar branch made me think of how we find and lose people in our lives. Recently, I had dinner with old friends I knew years ago. It felt good to know that even as we all had changed the things that brought us together were still there. Connecting with those from out past allows us the opportunity to notice how we move into different stages of our lives. Revisiting old friendships seems to help us evaluate who we once were and what remains still so much a part of who we are today.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The shade of the Magnolia

I am looking back at myself today

through the fragments of shade,

of the Magnolia tree.

I gaze up at the cross of four pedals,

One part, the shadow of the wind;

the other, cues from the sun.

But beneath the tree

pedals have fallen,

And there below,

the broken symmetry has left me unsettled,

Looking for an answer,

and craving easy shelter,

here, with my eyes slightly closed.

But today the sun has found me

on the other side of the shade,

here, between the narrow branches

of the Magnolia.

Week 19. Refuge.

Sometimes we just want to believe that life gets easier as we move forward. It’s scary to think that it might not. A few weeks ago I was on the phone with a friend and I said to her “will it ever get easier?” to which she replied, “ sure, it will, but then, after that, it will get hard again, and then after that easier, and then harder and so on...”. We both laughed. She was right. We always seem to think there is a magical day when we will wake up and “poof”, life is just what we planned. It never seems to do that and maybe that’s ok. Maybe feeling unsettled is part of the road to feeling more settled and at peace. To me, the shade of a tree represents a refuge, a place to rest from all the worry. That’s where this idea of light and shadow comes in. Maybe it is possible to find refuge in darkness, even when things feel difficult. I know it’s probably easier said that done but I think it’s worth a try.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The wild garden

Within the unkept patch

Below my window

There is family.

Every season brings them out

so that they can say their peace.

And in every shade of green

they remain there still,

waving up at me from below.

week 18. Families

There is a small patch of a wild garden outside my window. As I looked at it I began to think about the odd combination of plants that I saw. There were such random flowers and plants yet they all seem to get on so well together, complimenting each other in the varied sizes, shapes and colors. This made me think about relationships of coarse. Doesn’t any group have its dynamics? Families are all ripe with dysfunction yet from the outside we see something that looks balanced and controlled. Within my own family I notice how relationships constantly grow and change, pushing us farther away and closer together too at times. But even with all this movement, our families still root us. They give us a reference point for who we are. We may at times find it to be difficult to express our own individual identities but doesn’t each part of the garden have a purpose? Don’t all the plants together bring a sense of innate wholeness? Nature has a way of balancing things out. So I guess even within a wild garden there is a sense of order.