December 30

Root to Canopy

They stand together
like a forest full of trees.
Some are planted solidly.
Others are dangerously close to being
uprooted should the right wind come from
the right direction at just the right time.
Though tall or wide or strong they may seem,
they are still saplings within–
vulnerable, yet determined–
reliant upon the ecosystem
surrounding them to survive.

All of them, every one,
reach for the sky.
Some stretch high,
fingertips brushing the clouds,
while others try,
but their limbs break or droop,
exhausted from their never ending
quest to reach the sun.
Some have never felt
the cool, refreshing mist
of the air up there,
where the others have already risen.

Their caregivers, we promise to never cut them down, or
carve them up, or try to prune them into perfection.
Instead, we will forever shine a light on
their curious imaginations, and water their
delicate spirits with words of encouragement.
We will ground them in the rich earth of our content,
and show them how to overtake the sky.
We will grow them into that they were destined to be:
the strong, stubborn Oak,
the thirsty, carefree Willow,
the deep-rooted Ash,
the soft, peaceful Pine.

Regardless of their species, their stature,
their foliage, their height,
they all share the same need:
the vibrant rays of gleaming sun.
The Honest Quench of Crystal Clear Waters.
The Rich Nourishment of Succulent, Dark Soil.
The Enduring Love of a Dedicated Caretaker–
one who will forever promise to
guide them and nurture them,
feed them and love every part of them,
from their deepest root
to the farthest reach of their canopy.


Dawn Harris

Dawn Harris

I am a Secondary English Educator in SW Ohio & Associate Professor at Wright State University in the Graduate Teaching Program. I enjoy writing and presenting about all things education.

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