10.23.2009

A perfect moment

I was remembering something the other day....some of the best times in my life had absolutely no dollar value attached. They came on me in unexpected ways.

When I was in high school, I liked to write poems.

Now, I don't write poems anymore, but as an angsty teen...big thing of mine.So my English teacher let me and two other students from our high school go on a poetry retreat.

It was up in the top of the lower peninsula of Michigan...not far from Traverse City. It was a cabin on Grand Traverse Bay, Lake Michigan. We got to stay there for two days, three nights.


It was beautiful...

Here's some pictures, I had to use two cause there just aren't the pictures to do it justice.

It was rolling hills full of trees leading right up to the water... so this.




On the last night we were there, lying under trees just off the beach, were me and two or three of my friends. We were staring up at the underside of an old oak tree when Gwen, (one of my friends) begins to recite a poem that I had never heard before.

I found out later that it was a very popular poem. But it was magic the first time I heard it.

It was dark and the moon was shining through the branches of the tree. The breeze was drifting through the leaves, rustling them. It was autumn, but warm. I could see the moonlight shining off the surf and could hear the waves washing up on shore...and nothing else. The beach looked bleached white.

And Gwen said:

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.


It wasn't hokey or contrived, it was one of those moments where the poem was already so alive that it just seemed natural.

I cried.
It was a perfect moment.
A moment when you feel at peace with yourself.
A moment in time when the world is a beautiful place.
Full of creative, warm, funny and interesting people.
The weekend i spent bouncing ideas, and words, and images off the people around me,
was one of the best weekends of my life.
Lying there under the trees, and the stars, and the moonlight,
with people unafraid to appreciate the beauty around them.
There are very few times in your life you get to feel that way.
So now, when I am in the middle of the everydayness of my life
I like to remember that.
It helps me relax.

I want more of that.

URGENT* IF YOU LOOK TO THE RIGHT YOU WILL SEE A TAB FOR A LITTLE BOY, HIS NAME IS NOAH. THINGS ARE LOOKING VERY BAD RIGHT NOW. IF YOU CLICK ON THE TAB YOU WILL SEE WHAT IS GOING ON. I AM JUST ASKING THAT ANYBODY SO
INCLINED WOULD PRAY FOR NOAH, JEFF AND KATE ESTES. IF YOU DON'T PRAY, SEND GOOD VIBES...IF YOU DON'T DO THAT, THEN THINK GOOD THOUGHTS. HE NEEDS ALL THE HELP AND SUPPORT HE CAN GET. THANK YOU!

8 comments:

Amber said...

Beautiful poem! I have not heard it before.
I remember many camping trips under the stars and I do feel those were the most "relaxed and happy" times.

Maybe we should take off this summer and go camping, well I guess you need the hotel. I remember your not a camping girl.

Fat[free]Me said...

Those really are the best moments, that money cannot buy.

Lovely poem and yes, I will include Noah in my prayers.

Amy H. said...

I wrote (crappy) poems in high school, too (not that yours were crappy, but I know mine were). It was a good outlet at the time. Anway, I think Robert Frost's Nothing Gold Can Stay had a huge effect on me:

Nature's first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

I think at first glance it seems depressing, but really what it says to me is to hang on to the beauty in your life, appreciate it, as it won't always be there.

Hope you're having a great weekend.

deisegirl said...

Sometimes nature can just take your breath away can't it?!

I was never big into poetry and really only came in contact with it through school but even then a poem would just "grab" me and I can still recite (bits of) them today. Sometimes they didn't have to be "nice". Stony Grey Soil is one I liked and that is as depressing as it sounds. I liked all the WB Yeats poetry as well - he was a big part of Irish schoolwork no surprises there.. But the poem that always stayed with me was Base Details by Siegfried Sassoon which was written about WW1. Still pretty relevant today :(

(Sending good vibes and good thoughts to Noah.)

Paula Rodriguez said...

What a nice poem. Happiness is found in those moments where we feel completely at peace, surrounded by beauty, or being with family or friends and the laughter we share... happiness is in those moments. Sometimes we strive for happiness without realizing that we are happy--living those very moments. It's not until we recall them and they bring a smile or joy to our hearts that we realize the joy.

Sorry if I'm being too sappy... just had to say that... really enjoyed reading your blog.

Christy in Seattle said...

Ah, yes ... those days and nights of connection and beauty. There is meaning in trees!

Christine said...

What a beautiful post. I was an angst ridden teen poet as well. ♥

Prayers going out to Noah.

bluenotes said...

I used to love that poem when I was little! I haven't heard it in so long, I'm so glad you posted it! Now if I can only remember where it's from....

You're right about the important moments in life having no money value; they are things you can't buy. I know just how you feel about the magical feeling of being at peace with everything. I had one of those when I was camping in North Carolina with some friends, and we lit candles under the moonlight and let them float out onto the lake. I just remember thinking to myself that there had to be a God up there, with something so beautiful and peaceful and majestic surrounding me. Ever since, no matter what, I can't forget it, and I know I'll be Christian for the rest of my life.