Monday, April 4, 2016

Poetry Walks by Christine DePetrillo

I left formal religion to worship nature. I find divinity in all the gifts Mother Nature has shared with us.

I hug trees. Maples are my favorite. They have a great eco-rhythm.

I dig my toes into sun-warmed soil and soak up the Earth’s energy.

I inhale oxygen and marvel over the science of what makes humans live off something colorless and without form.

I run my fingers over flower petals, leaves, stones, caterpillars, loving the unique sensations each bring.

I spread out in the grass, the blades cushioning my body, meshing with my hair, absorbing me into its green.

I am connected to it all, a giant wheel that constantly turns, grows, changes.

Most of the poetry I write is about nature. I spend a ton of time outdoors and frequently find inspiration in what I witness. A tree’s reflection in a pond. A bird’s flight across the sky. A cricket’s nighttime song. It’s all art and music to me, and I try my best to capture it with words so I can share the experience with others.

I took my students on a poetry walk through the outdoor classroom and nature trail we built behind our school. We stopped off to observe one of my poems that was put on a plaque and installed on a regal-looking boulder back there.

Cold Faith

Winter winds
howl their chorus
over frosted lands.

Leafless trees
heavy with snow
dream of budding.

For now,
they wait
as ice imprisons them.

Glassy branches
reach to the gray sky
in silent prayer.

Searching for inspiration, students brought notebooks and wrote down observations. They sat quietly and listened. They got on their hands and knees in the leaves and became part of the woods.

We don’t do that enough. Become part of the outdoors. The health benefits are many. The chances of finding your Muse are abundant as well.

Connecting with a high power in nature is a guarantee.

Students came back into the classroom and composed poems that rocked. Full of imagery and figurative language, they wrote as if fueled by an eternal flame. I hope they always remember that nature is there for them, just waiting to be explored, waiting to help.

Waiting to embrace.

Where will you walk today? What will you find?

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Margo Hoornstra said...

Oh yeah, Chris. Great post. I would love to have been one of your students. Walking is one of my passions. Each mile bring something new to discover in Nature.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Great post. Our kids spend too much time indoors. Being outside fuels the imagination and so many lack that gift. I used to say to my grandkids when they were younger, "Imagine riding a beam of light. Where would you like to go?" They looked at me as if I'd lost my mind.

Rolynn Anderson said...

Lovely sentiments, Chris. Thanks for giving me a carpe diem moment today when I've been scrambling for time. Love nature and cherish the good in that's spiritual. You are pied pipering a good thing with these kids...and I think your poetry is stunning.

Jannine Gallant said...

My kids would have loved having you as their teacher! I walk in the woods every day. Right now it's slogging through rotten snow in places trying not to punch through then wading through streams of melting snow. Not ideal conditions, but it will be in another week or so. I'm seeing little green tips on the bushes and the first snow plants pushing up through the dirt. Spring is coming!

Andrea Downing said...

Chris, I often think if we had learned from Native Americans and their relation to Earth and Nature, the world would have been a better place. Loved your post and poem, thanks for sharing.

Leah St. James said...

Lovely post and poetry, Chris! I would have loved being your student!

I don't get out in nature as often as I'd like, but I too marvel over the complexity of each living thing while looking so simple at the same time. My favorite place to just soak up inspiration is the beach. Thanks for sharing.

Christine DePetrillo said...

Thanks for the positive sentiments, folks. Today, I had one of my students exclaim, "I never knew I could write poetry!" That just melted me on the spot! A true breakthrough! She even sent me additional poems over the weekend!

A.D., completely agree with the learning from Native Americans and the status of the world!

Keep walking, ladies! :)

Brenda Whiteside said...

Beautiful post. Glad I went back to read it!

Diane Burton said...

Lovely post, Chris. I love working in my flower garden. Or I did until bad knees and back prevent me from doing so. Maybe I should get back to it. I don't have to kneel. Sitting will do just fine.