The truths they tell us
In the woods, nature is given
to itself — creatures live and die
and are born anew.
Leaves turn colors, fall and gather
on the ground.
The earth receives them, makes more
from them —
nothing is wasted.
Everything is surrounded
with life sustaining
oxygen from the trees,
songs from the birds,
light from the sun.
There is a constancy
that sinks in me, an openness
that breathes, beating a pattern
of unconditional love.
An ease that settles
into my skin, invites
me to stay.
Why does humanity struggle
with this, the very essence
of being wholly
The sun finds so many ways
through these trees,
so many dappled patterns — stippled shadows
of life on tree bark, on green and gold leaves,
on my notebook, on my skin.
There is always light,
if we look for it. Hope
if we reach for it, acceptance
if we are willing to give it, understanding
if we learn — and love
if we open our hearts, our minds —
breathe out the world
breathe in the earth
breathe in the rhythm
of the of trees, listen to the truths
they tell us.
How all along they knew our secrets
and kept them, held on
to our souls
the way we held
on to the world.
Release what holds you, allow the air
to rush in. Look up
into the sunlight
you are loved,
you are free.
Copyright @Stacie Eirich November 1, 2023
I wrote the poem and took the photo above on a sunny afternoon in October 2022, while visiting a local nature center. Surrounded by a sanctuary of trees, blessed with the gift of peaceful time to write in, it was a moment of calm before the storm. That same evening, my family received devastating news — that our child had a brain tumor.
The simple, lined paper journal I wrote in that day remained closed for a year, with this poem and others, leaves pressed into its pages. I share these verses with you now because despite grief, beauty remains. Despite cancer, life continues — and despite all the fear and trauma in our world, love overflows.
One of the ways I find love is through language, and reading. In the month since we’ve been home, I have finished two novels: The Light Between Oceans & Sankofa. Here’s my review:
I‘m currently reading two more novels, which I’ll review in December: Before the coffee gets cold & Christmas Bells.
In a month of transition, it has been a challenge to find time without obligations. There isn’t an easy “reset” button to returning home after months of being away, or to navigating life “after” cancer for our family. But I’ve learned that one of the ways to begin is by giving myself time. Time for whatever feels right in the moment, without judgement and without worrying for what should be getting done. I haven’t written much yet since coming home, but know that if I allow myself open time, the space for writing will be there.
Here are three of my most recently published pieces, available to read free online:
Heart Sails, Remington Review, Fall 2023.
Diamonds, The Basilisk Tree, Issue 4, October 2023.
For Every October, The Bluebird Word, October 12, 2023.
Music has always had a way of keeping me moving forward; it has been a bright light through this past year of darkness. Being able to continue singing with The Stay at Home Choir while in the hospital and while caregiving away from home has allowed a piece of my heart to remain intact through brokenness.
I didn't expect to be able to take part on SAHC The Album Project, Volume 3 this year, much less learn and record all of its tracks. Somehow, between days packed with outpatient therapies & clinic appointments, numerous inpatient stays, chemo infusions and long nights of blood transfusions — I did.
Nothing could've pushed me to do that but my own passion and love for music, for singing, and for a choral community that has embraced me and my family with open arms. SAHC is truly its own global family, made up of many different languages, cultures, musical and life experiences. To pre-order the album & listen to the beautiful, meaningful music we have made together, click on the image and/or link below.
Baba Yetu by Christopher Tin
The Owl by Toby Young
I Ye Love Me by Thomas Tallis
Cantique de Jean Racine by Gabriel Fauré
Sing To The Moon by Laura Mvula
Vse Upovaniie Moie (All My Hope Is In You) by Hanna Havrylets
O Fortuna, Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Zadok the Priest by George Frideric Handel
In light, verses & song,