image copyright Rebekah Choat

My eight-week old grandboy, Griffin, has been having some hard days, what with colic and spit-up and barking dogs and trying to get his bearings in this foreign world he’s landed in. It’s really a bit much for one small boy to deal with, and sometimes all he can do is wail and rage at the overwhelmingness of it all.

It seems that the most calming place for him to be is outside; namely, my back yard, which is all the outside he really knows at this point. So at least once every day that he’s here at Grandma’s House, I carry him through the patio door and out into the edge of the Wide World. By the time I step off the sidewalk onto the grass, he notices the change in his atmosphere and quiets long enough to take a lip-trembling breath. More fussing may ensue, but after a few minutes he is soothed by the feel of the ground beneath my feet and the breeze on his face. Then he may focus briefly on a brightly-colored flower or gaze up at the leaves above us before laying his head on my shoulder and letting his eyes close.

Here, Little One,
I give you the earth:
all that is good and green and growing.

~ Rebekah Choat



The Wind

I saw you toss the kites on high
And blow the birds about the sky;
And all around I heard you pass,
Like ladies’ skirts across the grass —
O wind, a-blowing all day long,
O wind, that sings so loud a song!

I saw the different things you did,
But always you yourself you hid.
I felt you push, I heard you call,
I could not see yourself at all —
O wind, a-blowing all day long,
O wind, that sings so loud a song!

O you that are so strong and cold,
O blower, are you young or old?
Are you a beast of field and tree,
Or just a stronger child than me?
O wind, a-blowing all day long,
O wind, that sings so loud a song!

~ Robert Louis Stevenson

These times we know much evil…

photo by Rebekah Choat

photo by Rebekah Choat

These times we know much evil, little good
To steady us in faith
And comfort when our losses press
Hard on us…

For we are fallen like the trees, our peace
Broken, and so we must
Love where we cannot trust,
Trust where we cannot know,
And must await the wayward-coming grace
That joins living and dead,
Taking us where we would not go —
Into the boundless dark.

~ Wendell Berry

A Morning in May


May is playing games this year –
started sunny, warm and clear,
overnight turned cool and gray,
flirted with the clouds all day,
then called up a roaring wind,
made the temperature descend
further yet and further still,
woke this morning bright, but chill,
setting all the chimes to ringing,
buffeting a sparrow singing,
now a moment still and mild,
now a playful gust, and wild,
sending shivers through new leaves,
driving finches under eaves,
teasing, breezing in the day –
who can know the mind of May?

~ Rebekah Choat