Tag Archive | trust

Sparrow and Me in Autumn


So small, so ordinary brown

against the brilliance of the golden

leaves; I watch his anxious body (heart

beating four times faster than my own!),

twitch this way and that, head bobbing

up and down, all a-tremble in the falling

leaves that augur cold, white days to come.


Oh, little one, I’d like to offer you

the sureness you are held in tender eye

of God, but often so like you I am;

fearful of tomorrow’s frost, I knot

myself in petty this and foolish that,

fail to lean into the sturdy stillness

of the trees, fail to touch the love

that paints my world so vivid bright,

fail to breathe the calm that whispers

in the crimson winds that brush

across your rapid-beating heart—

and mine.


So let me simply sit with you

on your slim, sky-reaching branch,

savor the fragrance of this autumnal

now; let’s hold each other close and trust

we will not be alone as the crystal

walls of winter ice close in

around our fragile lives.

It’s Okay, Grandma


One by one she lays them in my hands: her treasured

stones, her feathers, ribbons, grimy little balls,

her brightly colored beads; relics of her miniature

life, each opening to me the secret joy aglow

behind her child eyes; and with each sacred

piece she shares, our hearts knit tight,

tiny stitches of stones and feathers and beads,

a net to hold the shining of the stars

and of the moon.


A sudden bead slips through my fingers,

pings across the floor, rolls to that hidden

crack where all forever lost things hide,

my clumsiness unraveling our sweet,

sweet finely-knitted trust.


“It’s okay, Grandma,”

her hand upon my hand.

Her tiny heart, filled with treasure

far beyond her stones, her beads,

absolves, forgives; she shows me

yet another bead, and we go on. 


Beads and stones, feathers and names,

thoughts and words and lists of things to do;

it seems that in this later season of my life,

they all slip through my fingers now and then.

“It’s okay, Grandma.”  

Her whisper holds, embraces me;

and I go on, letting go the stitches I have lost;

smiling at the memories, the beads I still clutch

tightly…in my hands and in my heart.



Softly sinister, it paints my window gray and

drapes itself across the houses and the trees

that usually greet and smile at me each morning as I

sip my cup of white orange blossom tea;

the bright red shovel on my neighbor’s deck,

the solid rock that sits forever underneath my trees—

all hidden now, wrapped in steely shroud so

dense it turns my world into a place I do

not recognize; the sun, the sky, the clouds all

vanished—gone; yet strange how all these

missing things seem eerily more present and

more precious in their absence than when

fully, certain here.

I’m mesmerized by this fog, but also fear its

chilling gloom and wish I could just blow it all

away, as well as every other fog that will in time

wrap round the now familiars of my world;

I can’t, but when the next fog comes, and come it will,

spill from sky to mute the colors of my life, ooze through

illness, other woes, to still life’s music to mere

echoes from afar, or swirl in dust of grief and loss to

blur, distort the contours of my mind and settle

dry and gritty in my mouth; yes, come it will, but

when it comes, let me remember windy joys and

music from the clouds, bright red shovels and

forever rocks, and let me move into the

haze—cautious, anchored, firm; trust the Breath that

hovers close and blows me tiny specks of light to

point my halting way until I see again just where and

who I’m meant to be, until I find once more a

clarity and home.

Selections from a prayer by Thomas Merton

MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going.  I do not see the road ahead of me.  I cannot know for certain where it will end.  Nor do I really know myself… [but]…I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.  I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.