I found myself apologizing to the peaches again today,
the green ones I found on the ground,
near the coneflower that could never make it to bud
After the hail, and the late snow, and my
intermittent neglect,
somehow they arrived intact to
midsummer, and hope –
but the neighbor’s
baby would not stop crying,
and Charlie, clumsy and filled with slobbering love,
rightfully concerned,
bolted and shook the branch
with his worry –
you tried so hard, I told them,
holding their soft skin for a moment,
like a blessing –
before tossing them into the bin of weeds, and grass, and rocks –
You have to be tough to make it here, and stubborn
to know how to be stepped on by children, choked by
crabgrass, assaulted by falling stones shot loose when it’s not just
babies crying, but the taunting squirrel, or worse, bunny –
and not forget who you are, or
the life you have come to make –
or, when my son, filled up with hormones and resentment,
slices clean off all the parts
you had hoped to offer
to butterflies, and hummingbirds, and the sky
the orange parts, the yellow, the red –
all the fire you’d been storing up –
when there is nothing impressive left,
you have to be ready to take that heartbreak
and keep going, patient and undeterred
There can be no pride here, no attachment,
no clinging to expectation, only endurance,
which is to give everything away,
except your roots, and the earth
which holds you, and everything else,
in what cannot be seen, or undone
forgetting even grief, though well-earned,
to know the struggle itself worthy, and to go on
inhaling, and exhaling
equal, and enough.


About Rev. Gretchen Haley

Gretchen Haley is relentlessly curious about most things, especially the big stuff of theology, the beauty of creation, the magic of collaboration, and the great joy of pop culture (reflected in this blog by random posts on Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Scandal, Orphan Black, or the latest Marvel movie). She has an audacious ambition for the liberal church, believing in its capacity to transform lives and our world by way of hyper-local relationships and partnerships that inspire the unleashing of courageous love. She's all in on adrienne maree brown's emergent strategy, and finds solace in the trails in and around Fort Collins Colorado where she serves with the brilliant Rev. Sean Neil-Barron as one of the ministers of the Foothills Unitarian Church. She and her amazing partner of over 20 years, Carri, have 2 children, Gracie (14) and Josef (12) who both relish and resent being PKs, and who keep her grounded, frustrated, inspired, and humbled, everyday. She is basically obsessed with her puppy, a large sized mutt, Charlie.
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1 Response to dukkha

  1. Pingback: Weeds, a Sabbatical Story | Another Possibility

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