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Perfect Reflection

The poem "Midlife" by my friend and fellow Earlham classmate,

Julie Cadwallader Staub, starts my morning on a calm yet purposeful path.

I recite it while in plank, switching from full to side planks at specific stanza breaks, the postures and the richness of the poem offering the power of potential.


This is as far as the light of my understanding has carried me:

an October morning a canoe built by hand a quiet current

above me the trees arc green and golden against a cloudy sky

below me the river responds with perfect reflection a hundred feet deep a hundred feet high.

To take a cup of this river to drink its purple and gray its golden and green

to see a bend in the river up ahead and still say yes.


Julie's poems awaken and deepen me. Naomi Shihab Nye, one of our favorite poets, says this about Julie and her upcoming book, Wing over Wing: "Julie...lives and writes with a curious eye and grateful soul, finding comfort and revelation in metaphor, parable and lush loving alliterative sound. Wing over Wing offers a way to live with meaning, grace and an ever-hopeful heart tuned to healing and discovery."

Wing Over Wing comes out October 15!

(It's available for pre-order --- I know, shameless advertising. But...P.S. I've already pre-ordered several 🙂)

I know this book. She and I worked together on several of its poems during our monthly Skype Poetry Workshops, and at our Two-Person Writing Retreats at each other's homes. As Parker Palmer, founder of the Center for Courage and Renewal, and author of 10 books, including Let Your Life Speak says, "This book is a treasure...a collection to sustain our spirits, ignite our imaginations, and help us reclaim our true north."

Treat yourself. Go to Julie's website and read more of her poems. Each one carries its own fresh scent to inhale and cherish.

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