How the Steeple Casts its Shadow

A poem written on the day I turn forty-five,

after a month of exhausting myself with worry

over my son’s right ear.

At 45 years of age, I’ve noticed that

the journey is no longer

about getting somewhere.

Instead, I arrive to each day as it comes.

Here, I will stand as the aged tree with lost limbs:

always reaching, always grounding. Here,

I can both feel sunlight and offer shade.

How much is lost in translation?

How would it change things to know

the Great Teacher did not say,

Do not be afraid, but rather,

Embrace it all?

Crows do not seem to ask why

they’ve returned to the same rooftop.

Perhaps, however, they wonder

how the steeple will cast its shadow.

At 45 years of age, living with

openheartedness matters more

than tracking slippery happiness;

asking how seems more productive

than asking why.

Heidi Fettig Parton



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