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Learning Flexibility from the Unadorned

June 7, 2018

A beautiful reflection, Ally!

Soul Kindling

A while back, I read a short meditation by Henri Nouwen which shared about the virtue of flexibility in the image of reeds. Reeds have the ability to bend amid their windy surroundings. In contrast, a strong, firm tree trunk is unyielding to high winds often causing a tree to become uprooted when a storm emerges. Probably because I struggle with flexibility, this image has stayed with me challenging my pliancy. As life would have it, I regularly pass a field of reeds on my daily walks. Following is a poem on this very idea:


their honey-colored welcome
to the gleaming sprawl of ocean,
the expansive lake waters,
the damp marsh filled with life.

Their veiled presence is no fault of their own.
Truthfully — they aren’t much to look at. There’s —
no flourish of bright pink at their tip,
no distinct smell to a breezing passerby,

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