Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • I went deep into the woods this morning
    To flee the human.
    Hounded, haunted by disappointment and disaster--
    The planet’s suffering
    My own little vexations and failures.
    How could this be the solstice. I should be gathering wildflowers.

    Instead I walked wildly along the trail deep deeper
    Away from the cows in the field, the tractors near the barn, the airplanes overhead, the cars on the road.
    Away Away Away
    Into the cool dark
    Wild wild wilder.

    It took a tree to stop me.
    It hooked a root around my shoe and toppled me into the deep softness
    Of the forest floor.
    I laughed, looked up the tall straight pine to its waving branches, and nodded.

    Got it. Thanks.

    But once on my feet, I felt old rumblings rumble
    So off I went to chase myself down the trail

    Until another tree stopped me.
    No joke.
    This one was talking—really--out of its bark
    Making soft sounds
    Right there across the path:
    Breathe and listen
    What is it saying
    What is it saying

    Ah, It's not about me.
    Got it. Thanks.

    But I’m slow.
    And so a third time I sped up, couldn’t quite toss the torments
    In spite of the sun filtering its way
    Through the leaves
    The chipmunks scuttering about the ground
    The birds singing my passage

    Until yet another tree
    Shook me out of myself.
    It grabbed me just like that on
    A jag of barbed wire protruding from its skin, hanging in the air.
    A farmer’s hand years and years ago
    Marking, fencing
    And this old being, wrapping its growth around the sharp points
    Moved on, steadily on
    Snagging me on my foolishness.

    Self-importance, arrogance
    Peeled away and puddled at my feet.

    Got it. Really got it. Thanks.

    This evening as summer starts
    I'll burn last year’s wildflowers
    And gather fresh ones to rest over the fireplace
    Hope and humor
    Through winter and my own cold dark.
    • Share

    Connected stories:


Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.