No Tree Towers in the Forest Proud

To the Hillside Covenant Church Family, 1997-2019

To the Hillside Covenant Church Family, 1997-2019

No tree towers in the forest proud,

   though wide around and crowned in green

   with branches casting down serene

shade beneath a sky bereft of cloud.

Without the buffeting wind its roots would fail

   to burrow stubborn anchors deep.

   Were it not for the other trees

beside, the pull-down winds would soon prevail.

Without the rain the leaf in which it swims

   would soon devolve to ragged fare.

   Were it not for sunlight, there

would be no leaf at all to clothe its limbs.

Without the song of thrush and mockingbird

   wooing haunted woods toward peace,

   the magic in the air would cease,

leaving creak and moan all to be heard.

As it is with all things, so the tree

   left alone will strive in vain.

   Without you, then, my friends, my rain,

my birdsong, sunshine, wind--where would I be?

Less than three weeks ago we said goodbye to our beloved church community in which we served for 22 years. Susan and I were lavished with loving kindness as we left to move up to Washington as so many people expressed thanks to us for our years of service. This poem is my “thank you” back to Hillside. There is no doubt that at the final tally it will be revealed that we received far more from Hillside than we ever gave her. I am and will always be profoundly grateful.

Image by Karolina Sikora from Pixabay