Archive for September, 2011

Balbo Park Bench

Photo by Jane Rae Brown

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David’s tree story



2 Growing up in Northfield, we had two trees in the

3 front yard that were probably 50 yards apart. And my

4 father — I had two brothers. My father had the idea

5 of putting a rope high between the two trees and

6 fixing a pulley system with a rope and a round seat.

7 And then he took a — probably a one-story ladder,

8 leaned it up against the higher tree, and you could

9 take the swing up with you, put the round swing

10 between your legs and glide down between the trees.

11 And so that was our own little amusement park in the

12 front yard

13 Anyone ever get hurt?

14 No. No one ever got hurt surprisingly. We even got

15 creative in the fall. We would rake the leaves and

16 then burn them. And then of course you’d go over

17 them — not flaming, but smoldering. Do something

18 kind of daring.

19 But the trees weren’t, you know, extremely mature.

20 And now I drive by the house in Northfield and

21 they’re fortunately still there. But they’re very

22 mature.

23 Did you bend them?

24 No, they were quite strong when we had them. But the


1 rope had to be a good 15 feet in the air at the high

2 point, maybe 20. Not quite 20. But the rope was

3 angled enough that you could do that. And I think my

4 two older brothers, myself, and my sister, all that

5 was a tremendous enjoyment for us and the neighbor

6 kids. Liability. Think of liability today. No. No

7 one every got hurt.

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Must be apple picking time?

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In buildings too long

A dear friend sent me this poem from a blog to which she subscribes, entitled Unfolding Light. The author just happens to be a friend of her’s. Touched by its sensitivity, I wrote the author asking permission to post, to which he generously replied: You are free to share, quote, spread around and otherwise multiply any of my things. Looking at your lovely web site, and the intriguing paper rounds project, I think I might have to dig out some other poems about trees. (I walk in woods every morning, so trees are a big part of the daily reflections that I write.) I’m delighted to feel even this little connection with someone else doing something beautiful.

I too am delighted. The poem—

In buildings too long

In buildings too long
without letting herself out of windows,
without crawling around enough,
she finally escaped
into an untended lot
and began the work
of healing her bond with the earth.
She hunched
and stitched her attention,
thread by thread,
with each pebble, each blade of grass,
each little bundle of dirt and dead roots,
each tendril of weed and nameless bug,
until she had woven a web of tenderness
with a little tumult of soil
and its sky, no wider than her knee.
Despairing of the vastness of it all,
she went to bed that night weary
and a little dubious.
But she should have known:
in the night those threads out in the dark
grew, as they do,
rooting among trees,
conversing knowingly with birds,
until by dawn the whole earth
was woven again into a living whole,
eager to greet her
with the tenderest love.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

Copyright © Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

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