Birch in Spring  2022 by Sara Wright

Black eyes

 smooth white

   supple body,

budded branches

torching

 cobalt sky

in pink;

hidden roots

    are fed by

March waters.

Medicine

folk

once called

up renewal

in this

 ‘Tree of Life’.

I long to make

 the climb

 to shatter

   winter’s icy skin.

Hope is a force

field

Birch has a key.

Trees are made

of Light.

Terry Tempest Williams, acclaimed author and naturalist helped me understand that hope is not something that one can call up at will, rather it is a kind of ‘field’ that one must enter by way of natural grace.

In Terry’s own words  “Hope is a force field. It is not associated with either personal want or need.”

When I read these words I experienced revelation.

For the first time in my life I understand that hope is not an attitude I can cultivate; it is a form of grace that some have better access to than others.

This poem is an attempt to create space for hope during the advent of spring, understanding (and hopefully accepting) that the door may remain closed.

 And perhaps most important, that I am not to blame if I am barred entrance.

Picture of Sara Wright standing outside in nature

BIO: Sara is a naturalist, ethologist (a person who studies animals in their natural habitats) (former) Jungian Pattern Analyst, and a writer. She publishes her work regularly in a number of different venues and is presently living in Maine.



Categories: General

Tags: , , ,

5 replies

  1. Love this poem, Sara. Also, love Terry Tempest Williams’ books. Have always stumbled over the word “hope” as many times the word is used synonymously with the concept of positive thinking. “Creating space” for hope seems (to me) to be something do-able. I’ll think of those magnificent birch trees today. Thanks for this poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Esther – like you I have stumbled over “hope” – In our present culture even if we don’t link the word hope with ‘positive’ thinking (which I have come to despise) there is a kind of cultural obsession with being “happy” – happy faces, happy spring, happy happy happy… that leaves those of us who are struggling wondering what’s wrong with us. As if we could FORCE ourselves to feel hope or to be ‘happy’.

    These are dark times.

    As for Terry, it is precisely because Terry can stay in the truth of what is that I find myself taking refuge in her writings. She seems to be able to live in a world turned upside down … what a relief.

    Every day of my life I create space for hope – and when I experience those rare moments they are almost always associated with some aspect of nature. Yesterday it was seeing the first butterfly…

    For each of us it will be different

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This is a beautiful poem! Birches have such wonderful souls. To me, hope isn’t a belief or an attitude, but rather a way of being, of always persisting and working hard towards a better world no matter what the odds because there isn’t any other way to be. I recently heard Terry Tempest Williams talk about her ideas about hope and she was indeed very inspiring!

    Like

    • I believe that you are right – hope is neither an attitude or a belief – Terry’s point is that you can’t conjure it up – it’s a field – impersonal – what we can do is do the best we can – and yes I love her work and have since the beginning

      Like

  4. By the way Richard Powers describes hope as a willingness to engage with the future – I like this.

    Like

Please familiarize yourself with our Comment Policy before posting.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: