Peace Blooms

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When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.

Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
nurture,
now shrink, wizened.

And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly…

Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.
~Maya Angelou from “When Great Trees Fall”

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When I need to be restored,
humbled and forgiven,
I walk back to the woods
to stand before the great beings
cut down in their prime
over one hundred years ago,
their scarred stumps still bearing the notches
from the lumbermen’s springboards.

Old growth firs and cedars
became mere headstones
in the graveyard left behind.

They existed, they existed,
their grandeur leaves no doubt.
I leave the woods and come back
to the world better
because they existed.

 

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Listening to Lent — Don’t You Hear?

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Calvary, Calvary,
Calvary, Calvary,
Calvary, Calvary,
surely he died on Calvary.

Every time I think about Jesus,
every time I think about Jesus,
every time I think about Jesus,
surely he died on Calvary.

Don’t you hear the hammering?
Don’t you hear the hammering?
Don’t you hear the hammering?
Surely he died on Calvary.

Don’t you hear him calling Father?
Don’t you hear him calling Father?
Don’t you hear him calling Father?
Surely he died on Calvary.

Don’t you hear him say “It is finished?”
Don’t you hear him say “It is finished?”
Don’t you hear him say “It is finished?”
Surely he died on Calvary.

Make me trouble thinking ’bout dying,
make me trouble thinking ’bout dying,
make me trouble thinking ’bout dying,
surely he died on Calvary.

Jesus furnished my salvation.
Jesus furnished my salvation.
Jesus furnished my salvation.
Surely he died on Calvary.

Sinner, do you love my Jesus?
Sinner, do you love my Jesus?
Sinner, do you love my Jesus?
Surely he died on Calvary.

African-American Spiritual

 

“It is possible and imperative that we learn
A brave and startling truth
And when we come to it
To the day of peacemaking
When we release our fingers
From fists of hostility
And allow the pure air to cool our palms…”
~Maya Angelou

 

Christ released us
to unclench our fingers,
stop making fists,
to trust His way of making peace
through sacrifice.

Don’t I hear? Will I listen?

Be and Be Better

woods14

woods29

When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.

Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
nurture,
now shrink, wizened.

And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly…

Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.
~Maya Angelou from “When Great Trees Fall”

When I need to be restored,
humbled and forgiven,
I walk back to the woods on our farm
to stand before the great beings
cut down in their prime
over one hundred years ago,
their scarred stumps still bearing the notches
from the lumbermen’s springboards.

Old growth firs and cedars
became mere headstones
in the graveyard left behind.

They existed, they existed,
their grandeur leaves no doubt.
I leave the woods and come back
to the world better
because they existed.

treewithlights

Smiling the Clouds Away

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Be thou the rainbow in the storms of life.
The evening beam that smiles the clouds away,and tints tomorrow with prophetic ray.
~Lord Byron

photo by Conor Larkin of Wiser Lake Chapel outdoor evening worship at the Rodenberger farm
photo by Conor Larkin of Wiser Lake Chapel outdoor evening worship at the Rodenberger farm

God put the rainbow in the clouds, not just in the sky… We can say “I can be a rainbow in the cloud for someone yet to be.”  That may be our calling.
~ Maya Angelou

 

To Be Carried Away — The One Thousandth

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photo by Hilary Mulhern

You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you.
~ Frederick Buechner

It is fitting that my one thousandth blog post pictures the four people who exist at the center of all my reflections here.  I began writing regularly 12 years ago to consider more deeply my time left on this earth and what my family meant to me, here and now, and for eternity.

Family is carried inside the words I write without my often writing about them directly.  They inspire and challenge me, they love and stretch me, and as our children have now gone out into the world,  I am assured they are sustained by what they have carried away from this home.

Life is not just about living in the world but what world you carry deep inside.   We can never really be lonely;  our hearts will never be empty.  We have each other forever, even miles and miles and lifetimes apart.

I sustain myself with the love of family.
― Maya Angelou