Archive | April 2017

The Standing Ones

I love being in the company of trees, “the Standing Ones,” and I seek out walkways and trails with an abundance of trees. I’m careful as I make my way on trails not to step on the trees’ toes … avoiding their roots that cross the paths. I also avoid ants, beetles, and other living creatures as I step lightly on our earth.

Recently I walked a section of the Appalachian Trail in the Nantahala National Forest. For much of this walk I was surrounded by the remains of trees of many kinds, rhododendrons, mountain laurel and other forest foliage destroyed by what I’ve dubbed “the election day fires” from last November. In the week following the election I was on retreats in and near the Nantahala National Forest as fires, caused by arsons, burned throughout the area. The smoke was visible all the way to downtown Atlanta, and in the mountains it was at times overwhelming. Much was lost in those fires.

                                                          Wayah Bald

I don’t know how the trees can save us, or how we can save the trees, but I know that our mutual survival depends in large part on human action. As I walked through the burned out forest I saw the signs of new life emerging. I am reminded that the earth is profoundly resilient; I hope humanity is as well.

Hello Trees
By Jan Taddeo
Hello trees.
Can you save us?
Can we save you?
Our shared faith is dependent on these hands of humankind,
in the blood that pumps through our hearts,
in the marrow of our bones.
You hold the great wisdom of the earth in the roots that connect you with one another and the earth,
in your strong sturdy trunks that stand strong through the storms of human endeavors,
in every branch that reaches high into the sky
and in every leaf and needle that adorn your gorgeous bodies.
Can we save you?
Can you save us?
Hello trees.

Hiking Haiku-April 23

As I hiked along the Appalachian Trail (and in the middle of the night), I reflected on many things. Occasionally a poem emerged….

First mile behind me
my breathing is all I hear
Stop. Alone. Silence.

Seeing the forest
healthy greening full of life
including burnt trees.

One, two, three, four, five,
six, seven, eight, nine, ten. Breathe.
Practice makes progress.

Disciple follows
Jesus. What does that mean? I
should have asked him.

Legs to carry me
courageous heart to lead me
where I’m called to be.

Watching night arrive
gently embracing the fog
rain pours until morn.

One still smells the burn.
Devastation all around.
Still, Phoenix will rise.

Sway under the stars.
Tiny me in the vastness.
My journey complete.

Hiking Haiku: April 15

I’m about to go walkabout for a month on the Appalachian Trail. I will be mostly off the grid during this time, but I will post here as I’m able. I’m thinking Haiku would be appropriate, at least at this stage of my internal process as I’ve been preparing for this sojourn. A few words can speak volumes.

Fifteen years a dream
or has it been forty-three.
Now it is dream time.
This Gadding About
exploring inside and out
is not for wimp souls.
Why trail name True Blue?
Loyalty to Mother Earth,
family, friends, faith.
Ounces, pounds, fractions…
Home on my back begs questions:
Needs, wants, comforts, fears.