In this uncertain time of solitude and waiting, I look back
on a life spent running to far away places where hungry children
cried in the streets among lost people scratching for pennies
lying in the dirt, and I, one frail human, could not save them.
All I ever really wanted to be was a single, simple shade tree.
With branches spread wide, my roots solid and deep,
I’d wait for tired travelers struggling along the rocky way
to spend a moment in the shade of my outstretched limbs,
safely sheltered from rain or snow or blistering sun.
Resting in solitude on the soft, forgiving grass beneath me,
stirred by an unseen spirit breathing in the air around them,
the whisper of a quiet breeze would caress each solitary soul,
healing hopeless exhaustion, calming their troubled hearts.
When at last they stand, ready to resume their lonely journey,
each child of God will find within their heart a new-found hope,
lifted upward in a soft, faint memory of quiet, rustling leaves,
caressed by the softly soothing song of gentle nesting doves.
Jeannie Hope Gibson