Leaving, a Prayer

Lord, I want to stay in this place.

How can I take it with me?

Hide within my breast the mountains


rivers flowing

from melting snow,

scent of pine warmed by the sun,

sun shining every day.


How can I keep what You’ve given me here

while I go away to somewhere else?

This has been good soil for me,

and from it now friendships grow

with flowers.

Fruit, even.

And yet You say, “Leave now”?


For a while, life here felt bitter.

Lonely. Invisible. Meaningless.

Then I asked, and You gave kindred spirits,

helpers, prayers, listeners, trusters,

caregivers, meal makers.


Thank You.


Here, far from our “homes”,

You also gave a daughter

with here in her blood.

A goer. A doer. Explorer, hiker, sunny one.

Here is her birthplace; her “home”.

Will she ever get to return?


Four short years ago, You took us from China

and brought us here; a dream come true.

Now that dream seems to be ending

as we pursue another.

I don’t feel ready.

I want to plant another garden and reap the harvest.

I want to hike along the Divide amid snowbanks in the warmth of spring.

I want to see the snow-capped Rockies and go to them.

I want to keep thriving.

Reach and find wild beauty.

Reach and find hearts reaching for mine

in a place where I thought I was alone.


Now hope ushers me along;

hope turns my face and my thoughts forward.

Hope, because You did it before, and You’ll do it again.

Better than we could ask for or imagine.

I pack each box, I say each goodbye

with hope in my heart,

resting secure,

knowing that

I will plant other gardens and reap the harvest.

I will keep thriving.

I will reach and find beauty.

I will reach and find Your heart reaching for mine

in a place where I have never been alone.



June 2014, Colorado

Destiny’s Draw

Waves on a calm, gray day

are sirens

luring us to steer our vessels toward them,

to ride their gliding, lapping, constant pull

closer and closer,

closer, closer

closer to the rocks.


Cold, clear, inviting water

carries me, floating,

to the gaping, scraping, jagged, rocky shore.

The contrast of fluid swirling and pooling

against the forever firmness of stone

speaks of life and eternity

and our journey ongoing.



Go out into the vast unknown

where there is risk.

When land appears,

there is also risk.

Ride in, find footing,

and embrace the cold plunge.

Feel the rough shore, pull aground,

        and go.


July 2013, Written in a sea kayak on the coast of Maine.

Every Aching Question

There’s a mountain of cloud

in the humming pink northeastern sky,

darker and more looming than the coming night.

But it changes – the weather always changes;

That night it never rained.


There’s a pain in my heart

that started long before I came.

A long lesson to learn:

Few things ever stay the same.


I have an aching question

and the answer often brings a sigh;

it has to do with one I hope will come in time.

But it changes – my dreaming often changes;

I don’t want a heart that’s tame.


I loved one who was a child yet, and so was I,

though he was so patient and oh, so kind.

And it changed me; the ones we love, they change us.

We’ll never be the same.


Rebecca and I talk of God’s goodness in both our lives;

how he doesn’t change, and we’re not alone,

and this is best, and this is best.

Our lives are in his hands.


Nothing I could do,

and nothing I have ever done,

could ever make him love me less or love me more

than the day they were handing out just deserts

and he gave me his,

and he took my place,

in the line of those wanting,

with nothing,

bound to die.


Every mountain of cloud,

every pain in my heart,

every aching question,

he holds the answer to.

And he does not ever change,

although, praise him,

he makes things new.





July 2005

Consuming Empty

In the canyon –

Red dust

and the buzzing chatter of bees

around the fragrance of yarrow blossoms

and mule manure.

A green oasis

and the glint of sunlight on the river,

both impossible to reach in a day.

Humbled by the very ground beneath our feet

(that clings to our ankles and colors our cheeks),

we turn back and gain elevation.


On the rim –

One thought from the mind of God

brought this into being (or not being,

since the absence of earth here is what awes me).


Air above me, air below;

the canyon is full of air and color.

I breathe in deep enough to fill myself;

somehow I am not consumed.


A falcon glides

below my dangling feet,

at home in a place I could not fathom

if I sat on this ledge

for a thousand years.



May 2006

White and Yellow Flowers

(For Mom)


White and yellow flowers

in a small blue vase on my shelf

to welcome spring,

announced only by their sweet fragrance

that fills my room with a pleasant presence.


Oh, small things

done with great love.