A Lonely Walk

by Laura Parker Roerden

Image by Cornelia Gatz from Pixabay.

On a fine
companioned afternoon,
one never
has to notice

the stars shining
side by side
or a single blade of grass
hunched over others,

now safe
as if
the wind

had thrown its weight,
a thumb on a scale
tipped for mercy.

But in a stretch
when lonely
walks away with
the kitchen knife

bent on things

one can

only imagine

it takes a certain
courage to see
the fingers
of the trees

entwined with
cloud and sky;

the sun slipping
assuredly away

quietly, a final breath
held with all the colors

you’ve ever held,

even briefly,

in your soul,

tiny pearls knotted
on a string, worthy of
a wedding or even

a funeral.

If you dare to,
you might just,

—on a day like that—

remember how
much you held hope

in the eyes of others,
your hands

unclenching,

to an
open palm

and your heart
perched for
flight

like

a bird.

Don’t miss another post: including #FridayPoems and From the Shaker: Best Investments in Sustainability.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Laura Parker Roerden is the founding director of Ocean Matters and the former managing editor of Educators for Social Responsibility and New Designs for Youth Development. She serves on the board of Earth, Ltd. and is a member of the Pleiades Network of Women in Sustainability. She lives on her fifth generation family farm in MA.

 

 

The Open Door

by Laura Parker Roerden

There’s something

available to us
that sits beside hope,

like an open door.

Children know
about it.

You sometimes
see them walk towards it.

Often they carry it

and place it on our laps,
looking up at us with

eyes flung
wide open.

“Here,”
they seem

to offer.

“Take this.”

I’ve once or twice
grabbed for it;
but that never

has worked.

It has no interest
in your worth
or intention even.

It simply arrives
quiet as sunrise,
yet never as fleeting.

Like a window-less
sky it changes and
moves on unseen currents

with force,
grace and
ample forgivness

teaching us

that rain is no worse
than sunshine; and

simple stones
as valuable as jewels.

Don’t miss another post: including Friday Poems and From the Shaker: Best Investments in Sustainability.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Laura Parker Roerden is the founding director of Ocean Matters and the former managing editor of Educators for Social Responsibility and New Designs for Youth Development. She serves on the board of Earth, Ltd. and is a member of the Pleiades Network of Women in Sustainability. She lives on her fifth generation family farm in MA.

 

 

 

 

 

Health, Wholeness and Belonging

by Laura Parker Roerden

Some thoughts on health and wholeness from Wendell Berry (posted below) resonate right now, in a world where our division has become both a goal and a means.

What if as we isolate in response to COVID-19, we also find our way to wholeness: as individuals, as families, as communities, as a world? That sounds kinda like a riddle, right? Isolate to become whole? But it just feels like what this time is asking of us, or perhaps offering.

I see people generously posting their offers to help others; I see people turning inward toward their families with quality time. I see something broken, like a child finding a bird that has fallen from a nest, and others wanting to fix it. I think there is hope in that.

—————

“If we were lucky enough as children to be surrounded by grown-ups who loved us, then our sense of wholeness is not just the sense of completeness in ourselves but also is the sense of belonging to others and to our place; it is an unconscious awareness of community, of having in common. It may be that this double sense of singular integrity and of communal belonging is our personal standard of health for as long as we live. Anyhow, we seem to know instinctively that health is not divided.

Of course, growing up and growing older as fallen creatures in a fallen world can only instruct us painfully in division and disintegration. This is the stuff of consciousness and experience. But if our culture works in us as it should, then we do not age merely into disintegration and division, but that very experience begins our education, leading us into knowledge of wholeness and of holiness. I am describing here the story of Job, of Lazarus, of the lame man at the pool of Bethesda, of Milton’s Samson, of King Lear. If our culture works in us as it should, our experience is balanced by education; we are led out of our lonely suffering and are made whole.” —Wendell Berry

Laura Parker Roerden is the founding director of Ocean Matters and the former managing editor of Educators for Social Responsibility and New Designs for Youth Development. She has served on the boards of Women Working for Oceans (W20) of the New England Aquarium and Earth, Ltd. and is a member of the Pleiades Network of Women in Sustainability. She lives on her fifth generation family farm in MA.