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Treetop Perspective

My life has given me hailstorms in the past

I’ll do my best to avoid one in the future

Because they hurt and change my direction

And sometimes take people away that I love

Hailstorms also help bring to the surface

Things about myself I don’t want to see

The crystal beads beating on my walls of safety

Break down the façade I’ve built

and what emerges is more the real me.

And it hurts. Life hurts and it also hums.

Life is fun and playful and brilliantly colorful

Life holds the essence of sunrises and sunsets

Life holds the losses of my deepest hurt

It’s up to me to move the pain in my life

To make way for the new growth of discovery

And creativity and experience and clarity

It’s up to me to trust my nature to survive

While sitting atop the tree in my bird’s eye view

I discover I can see my whole life picture

With more clarity and objectivity

From up here with my eyes closed

Sitting in my nest, it’s not as the victim

But as the observer all the while

Creating the recipe for next steps

And refreshing new objectives.

Today I talk to the broccoli sprouts.

I kneel down beside their bed.

You can do it, I tell them.

I don’t mention that every summer

there is a hail storm that will

puncture and tear their leaves,

that bits of their green will litter the soil.

Though the sprouts are less

than half an inch tall,

the leaves already look tough—

like thick four leaf clover.

The hail, though, will be tougher.

Perhaps I don’t want

to tell myself how tough things will get.

Would rather encourage. Would rather play.

Would rather revel in the day’s sun.

But today, there’s no lying to the self—

the inner hail has already come;

my leaves hang in tatters.

All around me, flower petals

are fallen, scattered.

Out of season, widespread wreckage.

There is an inner knowing, though—

one that needs no one else

to encourage it. It knows to grow,

to grow despite the damage, to grow,

because damage. To grow. It knows

to grow, because that is what we are here to do,

our new leaves coming in to support the old,

to support the whole, every bit as vulnerable,

and green, so green.

Participants’ Reflections:

  • A few days ago, I began making a series of soul collage cards. One has a hummingbird on it. I wasn’t able to attend the meditation group yesterday but I felt the group. I was in my car and a hummingbird appeared at my window.

  • Maybe the hummingbird is our totem.

  • I appreciate the reading. I love the word “resilience”. We’ve been resilient through this pandemic, the resilience of this group.

  • I like the image of broccoli sprouts. They are tough. The hailstorm comes around us and we are tough too.

  • I thought COVID was the hailstorm. We are vulnerable through it and we grow. But I realize COVID is the regular water we are swimming in. COVID is around us, it’s always there. Other things are coming up within the world of COVID, those things are the hail storms, but we are more vulnerable because of the COVID backdrop. This controversy over wearing a mask or not, we get defensive about it. It’s hard not to be defensive. People are not coming to situations with curiosity. I got my dukes up yesterday in a situation over wearing masks. I wasn't proud of what I did, but I emailed the person with curiosity, not defensiveness. And that made it better.

  • That reminds me how gentle we have to be with ourselves. We can forgive ourselves and remember we are all a little punchy.

  • I’ve had problems with people with bulldog energy. Meditation has taught me to be gentle. I got a call from someone who had very one-sided energy; she called me and spoke only of herself and then hung up. She called me the next day and said she felt badly that she had done that. She told me to speak up and say something because she wants to honor and respect our close friendship, that we’re sisters. It’s good to know who the people are we can communicate with.

  • Hailstorms are hitting me, I listen to the news and things are getting worse. I am surrounded by hailstorms. I’m in the dark today feeling the hailstorms. On a positive note, there are birds outside my window. I answered a bird, and he answered me back and I felt part of a conversation. But then I stopped answering and the bird continued, so I really wasn’t part of the conversation. I get to accept that, accept what we can and cannot control

  • At my age, at all of our ages, we can look back and realize I’ve weathered other times, I got through that, I’ll get through this.

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