The Salty Spray of Memory

 

Sometimes

all the wrong choices I’ve made

come at me like a returning tide.

With the force of a wall of water,

they hit me full in the face,

wave after

wave

threatening to drown me in

regret.

It’s all I can do to keep my footing

on this rocky beach

and let it wash over me.

For it will wash over—

I’m familiar enough with this

edge of the ocean

to know that much.

The tide that comes in will

recede,

and I will find that I am still standing,

God only knows how,

but

drenched,

I stand in the sunlight of grace,

drip dry,

breathe the salty spray of memory

deeply in,

deeply out

until my breath comes without

hitching.

Peace returns

with the hope that

as long as I am still standing,

still breathing,

then with grace,

with peace,

with love,

I can

sometimes

turn the tide.

-kh-

Nurture peace, cultivate kindness, and carry the calm.

 

Nature of the week:

Shadow of the week:

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Text and photos © 2024 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.

A Gift of Poppies

 

A friend shared her garden with me

in a baggie of poppy seeds,

tiny black things

that could be mistaken

for a swarm of gnats.

I had my doubts that they would grow,

for I am a haphazard gardener.

But I do love the look of delicate,

showy, confident poppies,

so I planted the seeds.

Those tiny black dots sprouted and stretched

into tall, slender stalks

that birthed frilly-edged blooms of

rosy pink with inner brush-strokes of lavender

around a globe-shaped center,

a tiny pumpkin-like pod of yellow and green.

I wish poppies would bloom all summer,

but petals faded,

fluttered,

fell from their centers,

those small, round globes,

each now regally topped with a tiny crown.

Then something astonishing happened.

As the globes browned,

under their crowns,

tiny holes appeared

like observation windows for gnats—

or, as it happens,

escape hatches for seeds.

Stems dry, weaken,

bend in the wind.

Out fall the seeds and scatter on the ground.

My grandson said, “Pretty soon poppies

will cover your whole yard,

because you get more and more each season.”

And I nod,

for that is how gracious a garden is,

how generous.

One plant multiplies its beautiful, bountiful self

in tiny seed-promises,

packets of hope for the year to come.

And if I pluck the seed pods

before they spill,

I can shake seeds out of their windows

and into a baggie

to share with a friend

these tiny black things

that could be mistaken

for a swarm of gnats

but are really a gift of beauty

and bounty

and hope

and grace.

-kh-

 

Nurture peace, cultivate kindness, and carry the calm.

Nature of the week:

Shadow of the week:

If you want me to send these thoughts to your email each Sunday, simply sign up on the right.

‎Text and photos © 2024 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.

Why I Need My Garden

 

In the window

above my kitchen sink,

one golden bloom rises on a

toothpick-thin stem

in a tiny pottery vase.

A black-eyed Susan.

I lean closer,

admire her petals,

her dark brown center.

It’s like looking into the smile of God.

Outdoors, pink coneflowers sway

beside magenta coleus leaves

blanket-stitched along the edges

in bright yellow-green.

The smile of God.

Yellow gazania bloom bright,

happily resilient in the heat.

Red-purple impatiens overspread their pot,

preferring the shade.

The smile of God.

I also know the tears of God.

Anyone with eyes to see

and an open heart

feels the sadness,

knows the tears.

So many.

Too many.

That’s why I need my garden—

gazania and impatiens,

cornflower and coleus,

black-eyed Susans.

They remind me

that God does smile.

They give me hope

that we, too—

all shapes, colors, and

types of us—

can flower and flourish

in beauty and peace.

If only we will.

We, too, can be the smile of God.

-kh-

 

Nurture peace, cultivate kindness, and carry the calm.

Nature of the week:

Shadow of the week:

If you want me to send these thoughts to your email each Sunday, simply sign up on the right.

‎Text and photos © 2024 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.