Sunday, February 23, 2014


It may be
     that some little root of the sacred tree still lives
Nourish it then
     that it may leaf and bloom and fill with singing birds.
                                                                ---Black Elk

This quote from Martha Whitmore Hickman's Healing after Loss touched me this morning in a particular way.  Yesterday, the friend who painted the mural in honor of Wes had sent me his first draft of a drawing for my business cards.  He designed an entirely new font that expresses my personality so well that I was almost stunned.  It included a sketch of a wren; he had told me that there was an old story that all the birds were quarreling over which could fly highest, and the eagle contended that of course he would win.  But a wren hid herself in the eagle's feathers so that she actually soared higher than the eagle.  When he first proposed the wren, it reminded me that my mother had told me they always had a nest of little Jenny wrens outside their farmhouse when she was growing up, so this draws in memories of family as well.  And the template I'm using for my business website includes a nest with two little birds that could be wrens overlooking the green fields I remember from childhood.  

When our son was born, we sent out a birth announcement that said, "The more the merrier,"  which included a sketch of branches with the six little birds to represent our children.  Since two of our daughters are now expecting our 17th and 18th grandchildren, it does seem as if our tree is living and flourishing and filling with singing birds:  three of our grandchildren sing in their parish choir, and one of them sings in his school choir as well as playing the trumpet in the band, and I'm sure there will be many more little warblers coming up behind them.  I might even someday see one of them take up the French horn!

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