A Prayer for Grownups, Inked Onto Beechnuts, Left on the Wasena Bridge: Day Twelve

This post is part of the Secret Messages Project.  Every day for thirty days, I’ll leave my words in places where they might be found — or might never be found at all.  I hope you’ll join me. 


Have you ever wondered why seeds do what they do?  Why they send their small sprouts toward the light?  Why they put down roots to drink the rain?

You could explain this in scientific terms, or, to use more human ones, you might say that they sprout out of hunger and thirst — words we use to suggest a physical yearning for what we most need.

But what if the seed sprouts not just out of hunger and thirst but also — forgive me this stretch, this sly smiling suggestion — out of curiosity, too?

What if a tree grew simply because it wanted to reach out toward something unknown?  

What if it stretched toward the clouds only because it wanted to understand that warm bright beautiful yellow globe in the sky just a little better, to feel the wind just a little bit more fully, and to lift all its limbs in awe?

Now, hear me — I know this isn’t possible.  A tree doesn’t think.  Doesn’t feel.  Doesn’t hope or breathe or love like we do.  Doesn’t weep like we do.  Cannot sing a song like we do.  And that, I suppose, is the point.

All it can do, in its stiff wooden way, is show us what we might be doing, which is stretching toward the things we don’t understand, over and over again, in hunger and thirst, and in curiosity and wonder and delight.

Does all this sound like madness?  Well then.  You — and I — are the reason I wrote this prayer.

You’re the reason I went out into the backyard yesterday and collected eight small smooth nuts from the dirt.  (I think they’re beechnuts, though I’m not  sure.)

And then I inked the words onto those small, smooth nuts — one word on each — and drove down to the bridge where Main Street crosses the Roanoke River.

I left the eight nuts there on the railing, where someone might pick them up, or knock them down, or toss them into the river —

Or plant them, perhaps out of a simple desire to see what might happen next…



I hope you’ll take a little time to wonder today.

I hope I take a little time, too…  ❤


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