beauty

Plant These

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(This is the first chapter of a Children’s Story I am working on.)

 

Thelma woke one morning. It was still “dark morning” as she had always called it when one of her parents had awakened her for school or some early morning traveling before sunrise. “Is it dark morning?” she would ask.

 

This time it wasn’t her parents or older sister, but colorful light glowing or rather dancing in her room.  There were no sounds. Usually these days, she would awaken to raised voices in the kitchen, her mother arguing with her sister or father.  They must still be sleeping she thought.  Then she quickly threw off her blankets and hurried to the corner of her room where the dancing lights were bouncing up and down in a basket.  She stubbed her big toe on the comfy chair next to her desk, but not hard enough to slow her down and only a quiet yelp escaped from her mouth.  She peered into the basket. What she saw was extraordinary! The basket was filled with small glowing seeds of every color bouncing up and down.  There was a note folded on the side of the basket. She lifted it out and turned on the small light on her desk to read it.  It was hard to take her eyes off those seeds.  One part of her wanted to hide them like a secret treasure so no one else would see them or take them, but she turned her eyes to the note now and read:

 

“ Plant these: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control.  These seeds will die unless you plant them.  Outside in your backyard you will find a bicycle in a tree.  The bicycle will show you where to plant these seeds.”

 

Thelma quickly put on her robe and slippers and headed for the back door.  There was Skiff her beloved mutt curled up sleeping on the mat in front of the door.  He opened his eyes and wagged his tail as she approached.

 

“OK, Skiff you can come with me, but no barking, understand?”  She whispered as she patted him on the head.”  

 

She opened the backdoor and off they went towards the one big tree in her yard.  Sure enough, there was a bicycle hooked up to the trunk of the tree.  She could barely reach it. But with a little hop she was able to unhook the bike and bring it down.  The basket fit perfectly to the handle bars.

 

“Ok, here goes!” She whispered to herself and Skiff as she climbed onto the bicycle and set off.  The bicycle had a mind of it’s own!  She was going to peddle down the street but instead the bicycle went around her house.  She tried again as the driveway came up on the right but again the bicycle went bumping around the house and one more time again.  Then she remembered in her frustration to steer the bike, that the note said the bicycle would show her where to plant the seeds.

 

“Oh! I’m supposed to plant the seeds around our house!” She parked the bike against the house and began digging little holes for the seeds under the kitchen window.  She carefully placed a few of the glowing seeds and covered them back up with dirt. Then all along the sides of the house she repeated her task until she ran out of seeds, which happened to be where she had started. The bicycle was gone.  Then she noticed the early morning light painting the eastern sky.  She glanced over to the tree and caught a glimpse of the bicycle disappearing into the thick foliage of the tree.  

 

As she and Skiff opened the back door she met her parents and older sister coming downstairs.  

 

“Hey, you’re up first this morning!  How did that happen?” Bea, Thelma’s oldest sister asked.

 

Thelma didn’t answer, she just walked over to them and gave them all hugs and said: “I love you.”  Then together they went into the kitchen to make breakfast together.  

© 2016 Julie Clark

 

 

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Categories: beauty, growth, Hope, Life, Love, Marriage and Family, Story: Plant These, Trees | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Winter’s Hold

Winter’s hold

Is deep

Suggesting it

Will not let go

This time

The ice will never thaw

Life will always be hard

Hope is out of reach

Yet, I saw

The dew had frozen into

Delicate crystals, clinging

To the branches

Breaking my heart

With beauty as

I walked along

The frozen path

The mystery of

The fire in the stove

Sending out it’s warmth

Encircling me

As I try to make

Sense of this world

Is a comfort to body

And soul

The child’s pure laughter

Over a game of

Peek-a-boo

Beckons me

Don’t give up your search

For hidden treasures

Love, hope, joy, peace

Are in need of finding

© 2017 Julie Clark

Categories: beauty, Faith, Hope, Love, Paths, Poetry, Seasons, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Start Small

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Start small

With steps towards

Good and beauty

Towards life and healing

Otherwise

You may find

Discouragement and

Disillusionment

Tagging, unwanted

Along

You may find

You don’t have

All you need

Lose hope

And not finish

 

Start small

You will add

Piece by piece

To what you have

Wondering where did

It all come from

Whether it be word

Or color or brick or paint

It won’t matter because

It will be there

To fit into the place it goes

And you will see

Unfolding before your eyes

(Maybe not exactly as you thought!)

The dream, the plan,

The drawing, the house

The life

finishing in all it’s glory

 

© 2016 Julie Clark

Categories: beauty, Faith, growth, Hope, Life, Poetry, Seasons, Trees, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Raw Material

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I.

We are given the raw materials

Of our lives

As on the First Day

Out of the chaos and void

Life began

 

What will we do with

The darkness and light

Will we separate it into a

Smooth transition of colors

As in a rainbow?

 

It will be anything

But smooth

Full of fits and starts

Smudges and blackouts

As if we can erase

The messes we have made

 

Yet stepping back

With the whole of life

In view

Of the one who falls

And is trampled under foot

Yet rises again

Painfully struggling

Forward

Into the light

Into the Love

That calls each by name

We see

The darkness is part of the canvas

Entwined with the light

Creating patterns and contrasts

Always erupting in colors at the end

The struggle of life emerging

 

If we only focused on

The fire scarred trunk

And did not step back

We would miss

The strength and substance

Of the ancient tree

Still green in all seasons

 

II.

The artist

The gardener

The teacher

The builder

The writer

The dancer

The musician

All participating in

Taking the chaos

And creating something

Useful or

Something just

Beautiful

Adding to the

life that began

When the light

Was separated from the darkness

© 2016 Julie Clark

 

Categories: beauty, Birds, Faith, Life, Love, Poetry, Trees | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Will I?

 

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If I listen

I will hear a variety of

Chirps, tweets and caws

Outside my window

The motors become background

To the symphony

If I listen

 

If I look

I will see the flowers

In the trees

The vibrant colors

In the garments swishing by

The mouths turning into smiles

If I look

 

If I smell

I will catch the aroma

Of spices in the air

The curries being prepared

The jasmine and frangipani

Dominating the fragrance of the path

If I smell

 

If I taste

I will savor the fruit and yogurt

In the lassie

The spices in the biryani

The ginger in the strong

Milky tea

If I taste

 

If I touch

I will feel the texture

Of the rich colorful fabrics

The weight of the children

In my lap

The cool tiles on bare feet

If I touch

© 2016 Julie Clark

follow the leader

 

 

Categories: beauty, borderlands, Life, Paths, Poetry, Travel, Trees | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Lifting our eyes

Welcoming the Blues

Lifting our eyes, just in time to see the eagle soaring towards us and then turning away.

Silently above us, searching for fish.

It caught one down the beach and began to break it’s fast.

How many times have I only caught a glimpse?

How many times have I missed it all, head down, worrying some problem in my mind, not present to the moment?

Yet, the eagle is there, as are all the other messengers, whether I see them or not.

But, what joy, when I am expectantly scanning and searching for those messages sent my way.

Today it was an eagle and a seal and an extremely low tide.

It was meeting Michael from DC with his two young boys who reminded me of my grandsons.

It was Debra with her hairless dog making us laugh.

It was Munira, fighting cancer, out for some fresh sea air. We blessed her and prayed for her healing. She said God sent you to me today – the first day of Ramadan.

It was connecting with strangers who become friends, building community in our neighborhood.

Categories: beauty, Birds, Dogs, Faith, God, Life, Poetry, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Which Way

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There are those

Who spread fear

Just as black ink

Splatters thick

across the paper

 

Then there are those

Doing the slow work

Of love

Meticulously erasing

The stain

One person at a time

And filling the space

With glorious colors

Where beauty can take shape

And life can grow again

 

Here is a suggestion

Instead of standing against

The “Other”

Come along side

Listen to their story

Sorrow and pain

Love and joy

Understand

They too are human

Just like you

 

How did this happen?

The bridges slowly built

With care and love

Years of hard work

Dynamited in seconds

Rubble of hate and fear

Left behind

An enemy came

And spread seeds of destruction

Instead of kernels of peace

Fingers stop pointing

Look instead to the heart

Am I a good neighbor?

Am I my brother’s keeper?

 

© 2016 Julie Clark

The Path to the Garden

Categories: beauty, Faith, growth, Hope, Life, Love, Paths, Peace and Reconciliation, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Fresh New Day

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A fresh new day arrives

To discover

To explore

To be awake

To be alert

For signs and wonders

 

Will the breeze carry the whisper

Or an eagle soaring above

Will a salmon leap for joy

Or a child laugh with glee

 

Who will bring a message today

I never know

Until I open my eyes and ears

All senses tuned

Waiting

 

Will it be the notes of a song

The wagging tail of a dog

Will it be in a dance with my sweetheart

A kind word from a stranger

 

Will it be a longing in my heart

Pulling me

reminding me

as I examine sacred texts

That I am loved in this world and

my name is known

In another world

Another dimension of pure

Love and light

Piercing through

Here and now

 

© 2016 Julie Clark

Categories: beauty, Birds, Dogs, Faith, God, Love, Poetry, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Seed

The Birch

the seed

dead and buried

slowly

throws off the decay

sprouts new life

to thrust through the soil

for air

for light

for life

becoming what it is

destined to be

flowering in beauty

bearing fruit

to nourish

all living creatures

© 2016 Julie Clark

Categories: beauty, growth, Hope, Life, Poetry, Trees | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Welcome Spring

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Welcome Spring

Once again renew our hearts

With hope we cannot otherwise find

Unless you bloom with blossoms pink

And bulbs push up the soggy earth

Unless you conquer winter’s frost

With wind’s strong blasts

And skies that rend the heavy clouds

 

Welcome Spring

Renew our hearts with joy

To sing the ancient songs that well within

When sights of life and beauty overcome

Calling forth our voices

Our steps will lighten into the dance

Joining all creation as life renews itself again

This time each year

 

© 2016 Julie Clark

Categories: beauty, Hope, Life, Poetry, Seasons, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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