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What I do is me


The day my father was buried, an ice storm broke a large branch in a willow in our front yard. Seventeen years later, while home from college for Christmas break, our son cut that tree down. It had been hanging on for its own life the past couple of years. When they were young, our children often climbed that tree to enjoy a different view of the world and soak up the peaceful energy of its swaying branches.

Here’s a nested meditation inspired by that tree a few months after Dad died. I offer it now as both an elegy and a prayer:

I saw a tree bowing down.

I saw a tree bowing down

and asked, “Do you do God’s will?”

I saw a tree bowing down

and asked, “Do you do God’s will?”

It whispered, “I do.”

I saw a tree bowing down

and asked, “Do you do God’s will?”

It whispered, “I do

God’s willow."

And just one more thing for today—a favorite section of Gerard Manley Hopkins' "As Kingfishers Catch Fire" poem that I think makes a nice companion piece to the willow meditation:

Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:

Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;

Selves — goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,

Crying What I do is me: for that I came.

Kevin Anderson, Ph.D. is a psychologist, author, and speaker who lives in the Toledo, Ohio area. His latest book Now is Where God Lives: Nested Meditations to Delight the Mind and Awaken the Soul is available at Amazon or thewingedlife.com

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