Tag Archive | trees

I Lift Up My Eyes to the Trees


I lift up my eyes to the trees—

from where will my help come?


I sit on my deck beneath their over-arching

limbs, green leaves carpeting my portion

of the vastness of our sky;

huge trees, these ancient-rooted souls,

giant mercies, their arms embrace

my tiny life.


My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth…


…and all the trees; my trees

that even as they comfort,

also startle me, evoke deep

fear, in fact, so overpowering

above, around my fragile self;

colossal trunks, massive branches,

how quickly they could crash

across my home, my life,

my everything;


He will not let your foot be moved;

He who keeps you will not slumber;


Deep mystery, these hallowed trees,

Spirit wakeful in their far-flung limbs,

flowing through their roots and veins,

encircling me and keeping me,

but always hidden, veiled

among the tangled leaves

and branches, cryptic runes inscribed

in every groove across the roughened bark,

ancient promise whispered

to the psalmist as he sang

beneath the trees, the hills of long ago…


The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in

from this time on and for evermore.


(words in italics from Psalm 121, with the substitution of “trees” for “hills” in verse 1)



Autumn Pentecost


(a few bright red leaves amidst the more subdued mauves of our red maple)

Soon the quiet mauves that dangle on my lovely

tree will glow a brilliant red, fling out

their solemn joy across the plummeting

of brown and yellow leaves; for now the brightness

flickers only here and there, a kind of autumn

Pentecost, fiery tongues a-blaze amidst

the winding down of days, crimson

weight of glory, blush of hovering

presence in all the fadings, all the fallings

of the leaves and of our lives.


Summer Leaves


Luscious leaves splash through my

window, soaking thirsty bones in

layered depths of sea-green calm;

I sip the leafy cool, savor on my

tongue a strange and earthy tang,

taste of wisdom hidden in those

jade green veins; wisdom learned,

perhaps, from tiny wrens that

shelter in their shade, from fairies,

maybe, or from ladybugs and bees that

mince across their face to tap out

secrets from their lives; wisdom

sipped from beads of rain and dewy

fingers of the night, from buried

roots that hymn the mysteries of

brevity and loss, but also murmur

courage that can laugh at scowls of noonday

sun, can dance in raging storms, can ever

sing a song of strength beyond, beneath,

above, the fragile rhythms of each day.

Sometimes It Causes Me to Tremble

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I sip my morning tea and watch a tree of elfin

leaves a-quiver in a gentle breeze; and when the

winds whip up their strength to bluster through their

fragile lives, I watch them tremble fearfully;


as if they know the wind has

power unimagined in their tininess;

has traveled far beyond their

narrow ken—from Arctic cold,

perhaps, or from some arid desert strip;

spoken with the Bora, or the Mistral or the

Foehn; spoken in a thousand tongues to

whisper secrets of colossal power, of

fear, of joy audacious and immense.


No wonder, then, these wee leaves quiver at the

murmurs of this wind and tremble when

she boasts of all the hallowed marvels of this

world so vast and strange. Sometimes

she causes me to tremble too; tremble at the

power of Holy Wind that weaves this

fearsome, wondrous tapestry of life; tremble at the

tenderness of Ageless Wind who stepped one

day into our time and took on human hands,

hands open-nailed at Golgotha to reach and

hold us lovingly—each one of us,

               each tiny leaf,

                    each tiny life

a-quiver in the winds that sing their

joys and sadness through the

disappearing hours of our days.


Bare Tree

bare tree

(I pass this tree each day on my afternoon walks.  She has become a friend.)


Alone she stands, my silent friend,

stark, but stately as a queen;

bare arms splayed across a bright blue sky,

fingers caress the clouds by day, the 

distant stars by night.


She didn’t want to lose her leaves—

who willingly gives up life’s greens?—

but knowing dormant winter strength could not

sustain all that their lively work and play demand,

my friend insisted that they leave.  They were not

happy either; shouted protest, faces flaming red and

orange and brown; but in the end, each beloved

whooshed or glided to the earth, heaping one

atop the other, sloshing in the wild winds; a

macabre, playful dance of death.


She seems forlorn.  Of course forlorn.

How could she not be so?  Those leaves were not

mere finery she donned, but part of her, her

poetry, her songs, her prayers.

But heeding the primeval call to let them go,

she gives herself to winter rest, enclosed in roughened

bark that shelters, holds her inner strength against the

icy blasts, against the weight of snows that

sure will swirl and settle on her empty limbs.   


I stop and bow in awe of who she is, of

what she lives; and stilled, I hear her sigh,

profoundly sad, but strong and tough as well, and I am

sure—my soul bones tell me so—that far beneath the wind

against her bark—and ours—her memory, deep-rooted, firm,

quiet hums for her—for all of us—a dream of warm

spring ecstasies of green.



I looked out my window this morning and saw this magnificent view.

This Pentecost poem followed.

Fiery tongues ablaze amidst

the green of springtime life,

deep-rooted in an ancient soil of

sagas tawdry, bold, triumphant, worn;

drooping, lifting, swaying with the

steady winds of change; ever

new though ever old; each leaf so

fragile in its shining, so feeble all

alone, but coupled, linked along the

branch with other bright red leaves,

a whispered shout of presence and of

power from beyond that shines through all our

broken limbs, blesses every greening of our lives,

infuses all monotonies.

Come Spirit Wind–eternal, tender, fierce.

Palm Sunday


I looked out my window on Palm Sunday morning and saw this cross “shadowed” on the rock in our backyard.  I posted the picture on Facebook, and my good friend Jane responded with a poem.  Here it is:

In my garden

A cross shaped tree-limb shadow

Lies on the cold hard stone,

Which has not yet unsealed

The opening to Spring.


In my garden

X marks the spot

Where hopes and dreams are buried,

Until  green leaves and trumpeting blooms

Announce a Resurrection.


In my garden

A point where two lines meet

Show Earth and Heaven intersect,

In dreary places here below

As we reflect the Light.

Jane Cronkite