poetry, Travel

An Amazing Tree is a Symbol of Hope, Peace, and Endurance

path with several ginkgo yellow trees
Ginkgo tree lined path-flickr.com cc

Half the month of October is gone, fallen by the wayside like the autumn leaves.

My favorite autumn tree is the Ginkgo. It’s a tree I rarely see where I live, but abundant in Denver where I frequently visit my kids.

There is a Ginkgo tree in China that is 3,500 years old (give or take a decade). In China, the ginkgo  is a symbol of hope and peace.

After Hiroshima, Japan was bombed in 1945, the only living trees were a few Ginkgoes, which are presently alive. In Japan, the tree is symbolic of endurance and vitality.

An interesting aside, for book lovers, is a Japanese tradition. The ginkgo leaves were used as book markers as they are believed to drive away silverfish and other pests from paper.

During my last writing retreat, we had a free write of three minutes. I thought of Gingko trees.

Leaves shimmer gold

on a living fossil

Shaken by winds

of atomic magnitude

jolting earth, quake of destruction

Rises again, moves

across Asia to my world

 Saffron reminders

of hope and peace,

 gentle as a baby’s yawn

Lights the path with a glowing aura

gives itself for my delight.

To see some gorgeous photos, check these out:  An Ancient Chinese Ginkgo Tree Drops an Ocean of Golden Leaves.

Peace and hope for the rest of October.



Autumn Revisited

My autumn Bougainvillea
My autumn Bougainvillea

On this Saturday morning there is a damp coolness in the air. The skinny birch trees in my backyard are almost naked of their yellow leaves. The only spots of color are from the Miami Pink bougainvillea climbing up the stucco walls towards my Talavera sun goddess mask. Only in Southern California can you have bouginvillea plants alive in late autumn. Well, maybe Florida too.

This poem, by Frank de Jesus Acosta, was on my Facebook feed this morning. Frank shares his poetry with those who subscribe to his Facebook. On many mornings I find that his words resonant with me, lift me up, make me pause and think, and overall contribute to my day. Thank you Frank.

The colors of Autumn sunrise in LA-Albert Valles, Photographer
The colors of Autumn sunrise in LA-Albert Valles, Photographer

Autumn Revisited

The morning chill is brief

in the city of angels

Once the sun gives rise

to November days

Autumn paints orange-red leaves

gently falling off balding trees

A many colored quilt

blankets lawns and quiet walkways

This Saturday seems sleepier than most

all at once I yawn and smile

A long list of chores lies on the table

where it will likely see tomorrow

Days like these are made

to find the sweetness of life

A psalm of praise, a song of renewal

random acts of loving kindness

A bike ride to the park, my paradise

island of green in an ocean of concrete

I walk barefoot in the green cool grass

resting against a tree to watch the children play

Unfettered minds releasing their genius

creating new worlds of harmony and joy

Cities made of caramel stones

lollipop trees and chocolate milk rivers

Closing my eyes, their chatter and laughter

brings enchantment to a broken world

A circle of elders drum and sing

wafts of burning sage evoke a prayer of thanks

Releasing my spirit from worry

trials and troubles that weigh down dreams

An Autumn day is healing and joyous

if you surrender to its beauty

I lay me down on my bed of grass

searching the clouds for the face of God

A cool breeze caresses my sun kissed skin

I realize, God resides in all creation

The Creator is breath in water

spirit fire of all life in earth and heaven

A grandmother and child pass me hand in hand

and the arc of living is revealed

We are one inter-dependent circle of blood

spirit, heart, and mind; cradle to grave

As the chill returns slowly to the afternoon air

a list of things undone invades my sanctum

Defiantly I mount my rubber wheeled steed

to find the highest point of landscape

From where I can bid this day farewell

with its sweetness and its freedom

This Saturday seemed sleepier than most

and all at once I yawn and smile

As the world around me grows glowing orange-red

I feel the presence of God in the Autumn sunset

Poem by: Frank de Jesus Acosta