Am in the shadows of the pine, on this cool morning, watching the squirrel. He tiptoes, lights, nuzzles the ground. Picks his way through the grass I have mown, up to the little path I and the girls have worn through the ivy. Walks, flits over it.

We, I, have made ways. And he, small furry creature, has walked in them. The breeze too makes its way up the hill. Tickles the grass, makes forsythia, bishop's weed and dark English ivy tremble, flutter, wave. A white butterfly dips past. Gray catbird lands in the pine, pecks for insects.

Yes, I, we, these creatures, flora and fauna and invisible breeze make our ways. Let mine be in You. Just this day. No worry for how I will mow, peck, tread, flutter, tremble, dip, pick my way through tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.

Just this day, let my way be in You.




Out in my secret place this cool morning, the sun comes slant and soft, plays upon my skin and the myriad leaves that tremble. The yard is wild— tall grass, field grass thick with seed and the edges of the place flecked with purple spike flowers, pert buttercups. Forsythia bend, unruly, and dandelions puff with seeds waiting for the wind. Raspberries have overtaken the raised beds and blueberries in flower are pushing towards sweet seed.

On every side, there is birdsong and the rustle of leaves. The swing hangs empty, moved only by the breeze. And somehow I feel like a child again, ready to lie down on my belly, look at the world through grass arches, ready to open my soul to Your seed and your Spirit which waits, poised. A seed head on a slim, smooth stem.

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Into Your Hands

Just two months short of her 95th birthday, my gardening grandma died today. Only moments ago. Too far away. I wish I could be with my Dad, who sounds broken, even as he has hopes to see her again in heaven.

Lord, into Your hands I commit her spirit. And into Your hands I commit his spirit too.

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I think I know each line and curve of this neighborhood. Where the sidewalks end. Rosebushes beside wagon wheels, as they have been for years. The row of cedars. Square rocks like enormous buck teeth hanging over the roadside. Feathery Japanese split maples and a heart-leaf tree that shivers in the breeze.


This night, which would have been black by now just a few short months ago, is barely grey pearl, misty over the river. I run past the white ranch only to see in spring's new light... a garland tree. That's what I want to call this lovely sight. Flowers hang, clustered in feathery lengths 'midst tiny green leaves. Like bridal garlands I've seen at so many Indian weddings. Tokens of love draped over my path.


Someone has planted posies. Yellow marigolds at the bare edge of a lawn.

I thought I knew each line and curve of this neighborhood. Each line and curve of You. My heart leaps up. You touch me. Unexpected. Delight.

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In the dark, I run. Cares of the day run with me.

This hope. That dream. Worries. Regrets. Struggles. It is hard to see around some of these corners, hard to feel that things will open, shake, rattle, release, smooth, fall away, soar or settle. The darkness lacks definition, hides the way, makes me wonder.

But then. Then!

I descend, past the blue house, barely blue now in the shadows of night. And fragrance bursts like a river of invisible sweetness. Is it... Lily of the Valley? Lilac? Tiny irridescent white bells ringing assurance? Or lavender promise hanging like grape clusters just beyond my reach?

Cannot tell. Cannot know for sure. But I am surrounded, intoxicated beyond words. You are here, Sweet One, on this hill, in this dark, flooding my senses, my way.

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Can't get the last stanza of a poem I wrote this week out of my head. A poem called "To Handle a Hen: Advice from my Stepbrothers."

A hard poem indeed. And the last stanza, this...

Once baked, the flesh will flatten,
stretch, evaporate into brittle crispness.
This is best: fat's no good for your heart.

My own poem speaks to me. Reminds me what it takes to sin against others. Yes, to sin against others it helps to turn them into ghosts, waifs, thin things, paper dolls, flimsy realities.

But... if they begin to take shape, inflate, fatten, turn in three dimensions before my eyes... rise up, dance, flex fullness, pop, bubble, burgeon... well now, that changes things.

Fatten my friends, Lord, my family, the invisible oppressed of the world. Fatten them 'til I can hardly reach 'round one side to the other. Fatten them. In my mind and heart.

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