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Volume 34, No. 19

10/7/20 | Newsletter

When Great Trees Fall

Maya Angelou wrote a powerful poem called “When Great Trees Fall” about the impact of important people in our lives. These “Great Trees” have grown among us, becoming fixtures of wisdom, protection, and generosity. We’ve had some great and mighty trees in our families, church, and nation who have fallen this year. Yet, because they were a part of our lives, we find the strength and vision to grow goodness, sprout passion, and enable a thriving vision. As we near All Saints Sunday next month, I know we feel far apart and disconnected as this season of isolation lingers on. Even so, the saints of Royal Lane bind us together, providing comfort when we feel lonely and strength when we feel weak. So, as we remember those who have grown deep roots in our church, sheltering us with comforting shade and flourishing wisdom, may we be better versions of ourselves as we plant hope in our world.

When Great Trees Fall by Maya Angelou

When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.
When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.
When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
gnaws on kind words
promised walks
never taken.
Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
radiance, fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance of
dark, cold
And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.

Pastor Mike