Romantic poet William Wordsworth once said, “Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.”
Three years ago, I headed to a summer camp where I found my soul reawakened between early morning bugle calls and afternoon activities. I’ve always been a reader, writer, and lover of words, but it was this summer at camp where poetry began to flow out of me. I was feeling things deeply and overflowing with joy. There was no escape for these feelings but to spill out on the page and demand to be remembered. I loved that summer, and I still look back on it as one of the sweetest and fondest times of my life. Because there, I started to find my voice. It was there where I started to come into myself as a writer and a daughter of God.
Below are a few of my first poems, to remember, to call forth the beauty from the mundane, and to let the words drip sweet from the tongue like honey straight from the comb.
“Brave Like This Strong Tree”
From where I sit
It appears as if her arms are stretched wide.
This Beacon of shelter on days when the sun beats down.
This promise of hope.
At first, a seed
Pressed deep into the earth
Nurtured in a blanket of soil
Its soul quenched by the cool and refreshing tears of the air
Spoken to lovingly
Encouraged to grow.
Yet always reaching.
And as this tree ablaze in orange glory stretches out her branches
I am overwhelmed at the sight of her beautiful leaves
Falling to the ground.
A season of death is upon her.
A stripping away
A season of rest
Cold, waiting rest.
But there is a promise in the death
A promise of things to come
New life waiting to arrive in the dawn of a new season
If only she can hold on
If only she can hold fast to the promise of spring
A promise whispered deep into her heart by a gentle creator.
And, alas, she is protected.
Her skin is thick
And grows thicker
Year by year
Season by season
Each winter leaves its mark
The harsher the winds, the darker and deeper are the traces
And yet she still is beautiful.
And here I stand
Just a speck in comparison.
And I remember.
Each season passes
Winter comes and goes
And so it is with life.
Each season makes me stronger
Each season adds another layer to my life
And within each layer lies a glimpse of beauty
An inkling of the past
What once was so present and tangible is now only a story
And somehow this comforts me.
I feel safe beneath her branches that kiss the sky
Thanking it for each moment
For in each one bears the Glory.
This Glory I will taste and chase for all eternity
Until I am made brave like this strong tree.
Until I am made new.
“Words & Tea”
She loved words.
The kind that got her creativity flowing and her heart beating fast.
With a book and a cup of tea, she was fearless.
Bold enough to take on her day, her world.
Words brought her meaning,
Called out things in her that brought joy
That brought life
That brought freedom.
And one day, when words had been exchanged,
With a cup of tea in hand.
She realized she was free.
And that has made the world anew.
Sometimes I forget to look up.
I forget to be in awe of this beautiful world around me.
To be taken aback by Queen’s Lace on the side of the road
The smell of sweet flowers and fresh-cut grass
The way the sun feels on my skin
And how beautiful the world looks when covered in its golden evening hue.
All of the sudden, I am speechless.
Maybe all of this isn’t just a pretty picture.
Maybe it’s a message.
An opportunity for my ears to catch the faint whisper
Of the Creator’s Song
Still being sung since the beginning of time.
Maybe we were destined to notice.
To be alive and present in the Creator’s creation.
Maybe we weren’t supposed to miss it.
Perhaps the pull in my heart
The feeling I get after wasting my day inside
Consumed by technology
Consumed by myself
Perhaps it’s my heart longing for the Song
And perhaps if I weren’t so enamored in me
I wouldn’t miss Him.
Because He’s calling
In the flowers
Through the smells.
He’s as close as the warmth on my skin.
And I’m missing Him.
Because I refuse to look up.
I ignore the opportunity to connect.
I miss the invasion of Glory into everyday life.
All because I am consumed with me.
I must choose to look up.
I must choose to be present.
Because I don’t want to miss the moments