This Trembling Globe

dandyyellow

 

dandelion close

 

How I loved those spiky suns, 
rooted stubborn as childhood 
in the grass, tough as the farmer’s 
big-headed children—the mats 
of yellow hair, the bowl-cut fringe. 
How sturdy they were and how 
slowly they turned themselves 
into galaxies, domes of ghost stars 
barely visible by day, pale 
cerebrums clinging to life 
on tough green stems.   Like you. 
Like you, in the end.   If you were here, 
I’d pluck this trembling globe to show 
how beautiful a thing can be 
a breath will tear away. 
~Jean Nordhaus “A Dandelion for My Mother” from Innocence
dandy42615
dandybud
This is how I remember my mom at the end:
fragile, trembling,
a wispy white crown of hair,
clinging stubbornly to what was left of life
with roots that went so deep
there was no pulling them out.
Yet it only took that one last breath,
one quiet will-there-be-another
breath
to blow her away.
And she left us behind,
clinging stubbornly to those roots.
dandysunset5116
noahgrandma
dandysunset4

The Delicate Edge of Forever

begonia622153

 

dogwoodpetal

 

rosepetalrain

 

It is at the edge of a petal that love waits.

Crisp, worked to defeat 
laboredness–fragile 
plucked, moist, half-raised 
cold, precise, touching

From the petal’s edge a line starts 
that being of steel 
infinitely fine, infinitely 
rigid penetrates 
the Milky Way 
without contact–lifting 
from it–neither hanging 
nor pushing–

The fragility of the flower 
unbruised 
penetrates space
~William Carlos Williams from Spring and All (1923)

 

quincetree

 

sakurauw4

 

blackberrybloom

 

It is common to look for love only inside the heart of things, pulsing front and center as both showpiece and show off.    We think of love reverberating from deep within, loud enough for all the world to hear and know it is so.

But as I advance on life’s road, I have found the love that matters lies quietly waiting at the periphery of our hearts, so fragile and easily torn as a petal –  clinging to the edges of our lives barely holding on through storms and trials.

This love remains ever-present , both protects and cherishes, fed by fine little veins which branch out from the center of the universe to the tender margins of infinity.

It is on that delicate edge of forever we dwell, waiting to be fed and trembling with anticipation.

 

rainyrose39917

 

sunsetbegonia

 

trilliumweeping

 

The Gift of Fragility

web1Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing. 
Scout Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

How might I appreciate something
that is such a constant,
like my next heart beat or
breathing my next breath,
so unquestioningly predictable
it never registers
in my consciousness
until the moment
it might be rent asunder,
as delicate as a shattered web
hanging heavy with morning frost?

In knowing it will be someday lost,
my lungs emptied and heart stilled,
comes the realization:
the air I rely on
for my very existence
is the most precious gift of all.

For that ephemeral knowledge
of my fragility on this earth,
in learning that I love
my utter dependency on my Maker
who gifts me my next breath,
or not,
I am truly and forever
thankful.

Thankful for Fragility

Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing. 
Scout Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

 

How can I appreciate something
that is a constant,
like breathing the next breath,
so predictable
it never registers
in my consciousness
until the moment
it might be rent asunder,
just as delicate as a web
hanging heavy with evening frost?

Within that deprivation
is the realization
that what I rely on
for my very existence
is not a given.
Suddenly it becomes
the most precious thing of all.

For that ephemeral knowledge
of our fragility on this earth,
for our dependency on our Maker,
who gives us our next breath,
or not,
I am truly and forever
thankful.