Tuesday, July 27, 2010


The rain has come again today.

I see the wooden cabinet by the open window.

It’s begun to warp in the spots where the rainwater has collected.

There, my jade plant sits among the others.

Most days I walk past it and never even notice the dry soil.

But when the rain blows through the open window on this day,

I can see the water darken the dirt

and once again I remain still,

as the small drops of rain

provide sustenance.

week 26. Compassion

It’s amazing how succulents sustain themselves with so little. This is truly a testament to their adaptability. Human beings also need to learn how to live in difficult conditions. It puts our resiliency to the test and forces us to revaluate our choices.

Recently, I became friends with a woman in dire circumstances. She is separated and with 4 kids and no child support from her husband. She has only a court appointed lawyer, which has been of very little help. Her story really made me think about survival; how we adapt our lives in order to deal with a crisis. Sometimes we need to work with so much less than we ever thought was possible. Our resources are stretched to the limit and it is at these times we feel the most alone. But seeing the pain in others can change us. Having compassion for their stories can change the way we live our lives. Maybe it’s the deeds that come from this compassion that truly has the power to transform.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


A friend once told me that poppies bloom in full

for only a few days.

Their colored pedals crumpled within,

they release them open,

then their delicate paper pedals fall to the earth.

What remains are the wide round stamen,

standing strong in all it’s nakedness.

Such a striking pose captures me every time.

I can’t even pass one with out thinking

That is one bold flower.

week 25. Centering

I always seem to notice poppies when I see them in gardens. I just love the stark graphic nature of them, even when all the pedals fall off and you are left with the long green stems with their rounded ball at the end. When I look at the remains of what was once a beautiful flower I think about how it is that they can stand so tall, naked and exposed like that. The center part seems to set poppies apart form many other species. Few flower have such a large complex stamen. Flowers with such unique components are just so striking. Maybe that’s why I like Poppies so much, to me, their unique centers remind me that even paired down, its what remains in the center that matters most.

Monday, July 12, 2010


When I was young there was a rambling rose bush

by the side of our garage.

My mother would cut a branch or two

And send us off with them wrapped in tin foil;

to thank a teacher or be gracious to a neighbor.

I can remember how she pruned it back

in the hot summer sun.

Beads of sweat on her forehead.

There, with her bare hands exposed to the thorns,

carefully allowing her fingers to feel the branches.

That was the only way to know

how best to shape it

so the beauty would show through.

“Nothing in nature is wasted or in vein” she would say.

She always made good use for the discarded.

That was her way.

week 24. Pruning

I've visited many rose gardens this summer and I always seem to notice how beautifully maintained the bushes are. One thing in particular that I’ve noticed about rose bushes is the way in which they are pruned. In many aspects pruning can reflect our own behaviors as human beings. For example, we must cut back and trim in order to allow a healthier plant to immerge. We try to give shape to our lives, knowing that we must be careful in choosing what allows us to thrive. Determining what to keep and what to let go of is hard sometimes, but definitely necessary. We look at the big picture (the bush) while also examining each piece (the branch). Even the things we can no longer use, those too must be considered. Maybe finding a purpose for these small things gives meaning to our everyday lives.