Tuesday, June 5, 2012

How to Stay Strong in Your Religious Beliefs

I wrote the following poem in answer to the question, " How do you hold your own commitments while remaining open to encounters with those who hold different commitments?"

As I Grown by the River

As I grow by the river,
I stand straight and strong.
                My roots hold me still in times of flood
                             and stretch deep in times of drought.
                My branches reach for the sustenance of the sun.
I have stood here long, as my trunk attests,
                through strong winds and cold nights.
I stretch my arms so that I may feel the breeze.
                I welcome birds to nest with me.
               I play with the chipmunks and squirrels who scamper about.
I try to be strong when children tie ropes to me to jump in the waters.
Sometimes, I grow weary.
My arms sag in the snow
 or my leaves fall to the riverbank. . .
                But my roots are deep. My trunk is strong.
                              And life will rise in me again.
                                          And if I am really very lucky,
Perhaps one seed will fall from me 
and stick in the mud 
and there
                Another tree will grow 
                    – perhaps it will not be exactly like me, but
                                It will have deep roots 
                   outstretched limbs that reach for the sun.

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