Stories of Kindness

 
Images from a walk by Chiques Rock yesterday afternoon.

Gratitude of Resistance Ten:
Stories of kindness and justice. Yesterday’s scripture was from Micah, and our pastor chose to focus on the verse in chapter 6: “What does the Holy One ask of you? To do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God.” And then, in the spirit of lifting our hearts in challenging times, she told stories of kindness, and she invited others to stand up and spontaneously relate stories of kindness. And it reminded me again that when things are challenging and anxiety-producing in the big world, we need to take moments to remember all the good and beautiful and wise or we end up with a skewed view of the world.

May we walk in Beauty! And justice, and kindness, and humility.

Pigeon and Dawn

pigeon
Shirati, Tanzania: a long-ago dawn with African green pigeon. (1969?)

From a photo of a distant place of my childhood to a poem of my River, just down the ridge from where I am typing in the newborn morning. I wrote this one of April of 2014:

Susquehanna Dawning
by Elizabeth Weaver-Kreider

Stand just there on the sandy bank of the river.
There, where the water laps over the roots
of the ancient sycamore. There, where the bridge
and the memory of a bridge run over the water.

Listen for the rustle and murmur of dawning,
the whisper of wavelets, the groan of the trees,
the sudden wild call of robin: thrush of the morning,
leading the dawn chorus, unwrapping the day.

What will you discover this daybreak, this borning?
What stories will otter bring you? And heron?
What are the words that the river will utter,
there, where the sun spreads the golden road before you?

Gratitude List:
1. Phoebe, sitting out in the misty, dripping trees, calling his name into the dawn.
2. The mist, the rainy season
3. The trees: sycamore, poplar, oak, walnut, dogwood, maple, willow
4. Those two crows, winging purposefully across the hollow
5. All the ways in which we hold each other, carry each other, listen for the sound of each other’s tears and laughter, even from great distances.

May we walk in Beauty!

Susquehanna Dawning

Fred

Today I got a card in the mail from a friend.  There were bluebirds on the cover and it was full of poetry.  These.

The Poetry Prompt for today is to write a poem about Discovery.

Susquehanna Dawning

Stand just there on the sandy bank of the river.
There, where the water laps over the roots
of the ancient sycamore.  There, where the bridge
and the memory of a bridge run over the waters.

Listen for the rustle and murmur of dawning,
the whisper of wavelets, the groan of the trees,
the sudden wild call of robin: thrush of morning,
leading the dawn chorus, unwrapping the day.

What will you discover this daybreak, this borning?
What stories will otter bring you?  And heron?
What are the words that the river will give you
there, as the sun spreads the golden road before you?

 

Gratitude List:
1. A warm purring cat on my lap.
2. Kind words.  Always be kinder than necessary.  People are.  So often.
3.  Watching Looney Tunes with the kids.  How they laugh!
4. Getting real mail in the mailbox.  Not bills or Netflix or checks or flyers, but real mail.
5.  Guides

May we walk in Beauty!

Rocks and Light

Gratitude List:
1.  Necessary Conversations: Heavy, beautiful, powerful, sad, life-giving
2.  Music with the Family: Val’s fiddle, “Helpless and Hungry” behind “What Child is This?”, Isaiah’s clear voice singing “No Wind at the Window,” and “The Lord Bless You and Keep You”
3.  Maklubbi.  However it is spelled, it was a delicious Christmas dinner.  And wonderful wine.   And the figgy pudding.  Always the figgy pudding.
4.  Dutch Blitz.  I am getting so slow.  I need to practice, if I am to keep up with these young people.
5.  You.  You.  You.

May we walk in Beauty.  And Light.  So much Light.

Oh, and rocks.  #6 is Rocks.  Susquehanna’s rocks.  Hezza’s rocks.  Goldfinch’s rocks.  The Apache Tear that I wear at my heart.

Susquehanna Alchemy

I wrote this one about a year ago, perhaps two.  There is a moment in the morning when the sun suddenly hits the River with a flash of pure gold.

Susquehanna Alchemy
 
Fragments of mist
roll down the ridge above the River,
peeling the veil
from Pisgah’s grey shoulders.
 
Pockets of fog
cloak the farms
in the folds of the valley.
 
Susquehanna meanders,
a twisting ribbon of lead
in the dawn.
 
Above, a blue heron
plies a patient path
through cold currents
on its way to fishing.
 
Wren, sparrow and finch
send threads of brilliance
into the bowl of sky:
“Here. Here. Here. I am here.”
Their voices spiral upward.
 
A chilly breeze disturbs
the fleecy tail of a squirrel
who has paused
halfway
down a grey-brown
trunk of oak.
 
The wintry skeletons of maples
wear the green auras of early spring.
Sun touches the branches,
tempers them with silver
in the first light.
 
One day you will remember to look
and the fresh nests of birds
will be hidden
amid a riot of green.
 
You turn off the spine of the mountain.
You slide from the ridge of Mt. Pisgah,
winding your way along a streamlet
which hastens toward the river’s embrace.
 
A stone schoolhouse with boarded windows
sits amid a scholarship
of dried ivy vines
and last fall’s nettle stalks.
 
Among the wrinkled hollows and hills
you curve away from the river and back again.
Now you turn onto the river road.
 
Birdsong has lost the insistent shrill of dawn.
The last mist of morning
dissipates before you.
The sun slides a glance
off the surface of grey water,
and sparkles of gold appear.
 
Gold grows on the water,
transforming lead,
and in a moment
you will avert your eyes
from its blinding dazzle.
 

Gratitude List:
1.  Spring Tonic–the boys and I went wandering this morning, found several leaves of plantain, chickweed, nettles, henbit and ground ivy, stick-stalks of mint, sage and thyme.  We made a tea-tonic out of it all.
2.  Collaborative artwork with my children.  This photo is one Josiah and I made this morning.  It’s a cardinal family in a nest.  The red blobs above the nest are daytime fireworks, according to one of the artists:
2013 March 056

3.  Flaky biscuits and hot soup
4.  Being understood
5.  A new poet to learn: Ada Limon
May we walk in beauty.  So, so much beauty.

Sing You Gently Joy

A chant poem, inspired by some women I love.

Here in the house of exhaustion
Here in the place of retreat
We’ll sing you gently joy
and hold your heart in hope

Here when your way is weary
Here where your heart is uneasy
We’ll sing you gently joy
and hold your heart in hope

Here when the day closes over you
Here when your sighs bring tears
We’ll sing you gently joy
and hold your heart in hope

Here where the way seems hopeless
Here where the rage overflows
We’ll sing you gently joy
and hold your heart in hope

Here where the No overcomes you
Here where despair abounds
We’ll sing you gently joy
and hold your heart in hope

Here in the birthplace of the fear
Here in the abode of loneliness
We’ll sing you gently joy
and hold your heart in hope

 

Prompt for Saturday

Well, it’s got to be a snow poem.

 

Gratitude List:

1.  I know I write the word “Sunrise” a lot in these lists, but really.  This morning’s sunrise glowed magenta like burning coals through the snow-clouds covering the ridge.
2.  The beauty of the Susquehanna when it is iced over, with little channels of running water here and there, and the morning sun sparkling on the surface.
3.  Little birdy footprints in the snow, like cuneiform, like code, like augury.
4.  Joy and the friends who remind me to be joyful.
5.  Gratitude lists.  And Regina Martin’s observation that the spiritual discipline of the gratitude list makes you start to take notice immediately when you wake up–you start to look for what you will put on the list for the day.

May we walk in beauty.

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Rose hips in winter (photo taken in 2006)