Seeking shelter

“Permission granted” is a photo by David Brookover and is reprinted with his permission. For more on his work, visit:

As I seek shelter from the storm
and run from the meadow of familiarity
to the dark forest of confusion,
where shall I lay my head?
Which tree will provide
a canopy of protection
that lasts long enough
for me to trust the meadow once again.
Each one seems to have a name.
There is the tree of Awe
Where Rumi chose to rest.*
I see ones named Nobility, Courage
Peace, Quiet …
all beckoning me home.
I see Anger over there
with its sapling, Sad,
and its bright colors
and access to the sun.
If I go to be with
some of my dear ones,
who have sheltered
beneath Fear and Blame
must my heart go too?
May I take a friend,
so at the least
there is a hand to hold
till the storm moves on?
The only thing that’s certain
is the danger of the storm.
All the other animals
seem to know
that the forest is the place to be.
Perhaps the quiet woods
and shadows all around
bear the unnamed messages
of all those gathered there.
Perhaps their shared long lives
bear secrets yet to hear.
Perhaps, one more time,
we people do not know best.
There is some safety
in just accepting that.
And knowing
that there will always
be a safe place
to rest our heads and hearts.
Follow the deer.
They know.
And we have lots to learn
from their trees.

*from Rumi, “Enough Words”
Running from a broken world
Election day
November 3, 2020