thick roots tangled knots
barely hanging onto bank
drink deep waters
The last several days have been unpredictable and sometimes discouraging. I keep reminding myself that I’m not in charge of things. The news these days isn’t great. Even so, every day offers an opportunity to look up, look back, look ahead, and take another step. I wrote the following comments in April 2017.
This haiku was my third post to this blog, published on 3 January 2014. It still haunts me, though not in the same way.
I first saw these roots when D and I were walking with our daughter and her husband through Hoyt Arboretum in Portland, Oregon. I couldn’t tear my eyes away. The tangled roots were beautiful and foreboding.
It was a bit like blogging, which I’ve experienced as a formidable venture into unknown territory. Like being born and surviving. Sometimes against all odds.
Writing lets my exposed roots show, often whether I realize they’re showing or not. Writing also stakes my claim to a tiny, precarious plot of land that sits open, vulnerable and visible to passersby.
I’ve traveled a long way since my early posts, yet my roots are still my roots. Bare, and barely hanging onto precious ground that’s stronger, deeper, and more nourishing than I could have imagined.
Deep waters aren’t visible, and they don’t untangle all the knots in my life. Sometimes I wonder whether they’re drying up.
Yet even in dire circumstances, I discover more than enough to get me through each day. Sometimes with tears of sorrow and disbelief. More often with joy and sheer gratitude for the privilege of being human. Able to thrive in the forest next to redwood giants, with miniscule ferns growing around and from my feet.
© Elouise Renich Fraser, 26 April 2017, and 16 February 2021
Photo credit: DAFraser, October 2012, Hoyt Arboretum, Portland, Oregon