by Chris Barrett

This poem is the result of a Sabbath-day drive to our local Church camp yesterday. It was held in the beautiful Snowy Mountain town of Talbingo.

Worship was three tasks. We were to go outside, alone, in the bush and parkland around the facility and find a spot to sit quietly. I sat by a small creek, in a wooded gully, forested with trees, undergrowth, and blackberry vines. The creek flowed to Talbingo dam, part of the Snowy Mountains Hydro Scheme.
The first 5 minutes were to be spent eyes shut just listening to nature's sounds. The second 5 were to be eyes open observing nature. We were to write down what we heard, saw, and then what we sensed God saying to us through the surroundings.

At the conclusion of this we went inside, formed small groups, and shared what we had experienced. This was followed by 20 minutes to write a psalm/poem about what we experienced in the first segment.
Here is what I wrote and read out in the sharing that followed. The last line was hastily added to “save my soul” when I knew it could go public in the meeting. The leader had a rather puzzled look on his face after I read it, but another member later commented very positively on the poem.
There are changes I would now make with more time, but I've shared it here as was,  in the shape the experience and time permitted it to reach.  Much of our life is like that, always room to improve, shaped by the pressures of time, circumstances, and what we are at the moment. Unlike this poem, much that we do allows no change or “editing” afterwards. I had not given it a title, nor have I yet!
So, here it is:

I hear your sounds fill the air

Birds and breeze call from tree to tree

Breeze slides past and whispers everywhere

Natures form and shape in sound I see

Bird snaps up worm hunger sates

Life' s cycle flows past my feet

Takes its journey to the lake

Rises to the air and falls as sleet

Nature's doing what nature does

Perfumed and beautiful in its green

Unforgiving harsh and cruel if crossed

It's path ahead its path we've seen…

Unless a God steps in with change!!


photo by James Gutman

photo by Heather Gutman