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  • Writer's pictureStacie Eirich

Tenderness


Tenderness of fields, painting by Elena Artstyle, pixels.com


In soft slips of blooms

In cool mists of morning

 

In silver whispers of song

In pink presses of lips

 

In our arms encircling

In our fingers lacing

 

In our eyes wondering

In our voices laughing   

 

In rivers flowing wide

In clouds breaking open

 

In boundless breath of skies  

In limitless light of stars

 

In spring bursting into blossoms

In wings rising in golden sunshine    

 

In our hands lifting to brilliant blue

In how earth is enfolding us  

 

In how love is rebirthing us  

In how hope is carrying us   

 

In how we walk together

In how we fly together


Copyright @Stacie Eirich March 4, 2024

 

This poem is another that came with the dawn, with another morning of waking, of rising, of moving, of writing, and of hoping. Our steps forward into life after my child’s cancer are still tentative as the sun creeping over the horizon. Our steps forward into a different, but still beautiful life are soft as whispers in the wind. We take them together, and we take them while paying attention.


It is this act of paying attention that brings us into something I’ve begun to think of as a state of tenderness. It’s a way of paying attention to ourselves and the world, and to ourselves within that world. It’s both soft and strong, compassionate and courageous at the same time. And it brings us closer to that thing that we need most in order to navigate our lives: hopefulness.


Where does hopefulness come from? I think the answer to this is different for me than for you. For me, it comes from taking time to be with nature, to listen to and express song, and to create art and share it with others.


If you aren’t sure what brings you into a space of light, look around your home and the spaces you enjoy being in. What kinds of things do you treasure? What colors make you feel best? What do you turn on (or turn off) in order to unwind? When you have a few moments to yourself — what do you choose to do? Maybe for you, it’s also about who you’re with, whether it’s a family member or friend. Think of them: How do they show kindness? What is it about this person that leads you into a state of tenderness?


Pay attention. Linger there. Hold on to that tenderness, to that hopefulness, to that light. It’s what makes life worth waking, rising, and moving for. It’s why I keep writing, and sharing that writing with you. And it’s why I keep doing what I can to help raise awareness of pediatric cancer and funds to find a cure. It’s why I remain hopeful for my child and others to not only survive but thrive in years to come.


So long as we hold on to a state of tenderness, we can keep moving, keep creating — and keep living our messy, beautiful lives together. So long as the sunlight touches us, we will rise and fly together — letting hope carry us into a future wide as the big blue sky.


Thank you for being here, and for reading. If you’d like to listen to this poem and the thoughts that followed it — you can find the audio on my podcast, Poetry for Peace, Season 4: A New Dawn — available on Spotify, Apple, Amazon, Google & more.


In light,

Stacie


*Post Script* My child is a patient at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  If you’d like to follow our journey to a cure, visit: https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/hopeforsadie


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