Helpless Against the Storm


Here, in my suburban yard where peonies lie thrashed on the ground, battered by weekend winds and storms, I am grateful to have peonies, rooted to the earth, beside a house, strong on its foundation.

I collected strewn branches this morning, filled a bag with switches from the river birch. Each bending of my body was a prayer for survivors in Oklahoma whose lost trees are the least of their concerns, who have nothing but their own shaken foundations.

Each time I snapped twigs and added them to the compost bag I mourned for broken bodies, those buried yesterday in rubble and, closer to home, our dear friend Leonard lying in his hospice bed.

My body stooping, straightening, snapping, stuffing.

My liturgy to remember, to ask that the ravaged can bear the suffering, find relief, have hope.

Lord, have mercy. And grant us your peace.


  1. Mary Chandler says:

    Beautiful thoughts and beautiful words.

  2. Eric Disney says:

    Amen–beautifully stated. I find myself a bit overwhelmed by the spate of “bad” things happening in such quick succession–I would also pray that our hearts do not become hardened by their frequency as they seem to become more and more a part of everyday life–thank you for the poignant reminder.

  3. A beautiful prayer, Lee — thank you.

  4. Ye, mercy and peace. So be it.