Outdoor Explorations · Poetry · Sacred Spaces

A gift from Duir

A gift from Duir

I see you every day
Standing watch over
My walking route
Today I decided
To come up and visit

I wade through
Blackberry brambles
Which tower over my head
Enduring again the pricks and scratches
Still paying for a summer of feasting

I come near you
And look up
Your bare branches making
Stark lines against the
Overcast sky

A tattered rope swing
Hangs from a thick limb
Telling of children
Who once played in your shade

A flicker chatters
As he flies through your branches
A Jay calls to me
From nearby

I reach up to touch
A long drooping branch
And into my palm
You drop the year’s last leaf


In my last post, I wrote about my practice of walking every day, and just observing what is around me.  About a week or so back, I noticed this tree on the hillside, about half a block south of my office.  Today, I decided to go up during my walk to visit it.  As you can imagine, from the poem above, it was a very special visit for me.

Oaks are special trees for me.  When my family lived in Redmond, WA, we had an Oak on the hill behind our house.  I used to climb up in the tree and play underneath it.  Today, when Maurie and I go to the University of Washington Arboretum, there is one Oak I still climb.  Yes, here I am, in my forties, and I climb up into an Oak…with the lowest branch over a foot above my head!

Rope swing


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