Love Note: Stormy Willows

Hello Dear First U Family,

Today’s poem is a lovely offering from Brendan Kennelly, whose message harkens for me the challenges of our current times.  The author’s depiction of difficulty is painted with strokes of storminess – willows being tossed, hit, and mangled.  Ours isn’t a storm of nature….in fact, I’m continually struck by how untouched nature is in this period.  As I type this from my back deck the sun is in full array, the birds in full chorus, and the blossoms filled with busy bumblebees.

There is another kind of storm, though, that is raging, however quietly.  One that harasses, confuses, and brings death, tossing our sense of equilibrium, hitting our sense of security, and bewildering our sense of the future.

Although it may feel like it is beyond our reach for the moment, my deep hope is that each of us will come to experience some semblance of the clean peace that arrives after a storm has passed.  And that we shall indeed know what a storm can do to terrify our roots planted in apathetic clay in order to be made anew.

While we aspire for these higher-order things, let us also acknowledge the current challenges inherent in weathering the tempest.  I’m thankful for the love and connections in my life (including you) that ground me during this windy wilderness.

In gratitude,


To understand
A little of how a shaken love
May be sustained
The giant stillness
Of a willow

After a storm.
This morning it is more than peaceful
But last night that great form

Was tossed and hit
By what seemed to me
A kind of cosmic hate,

An infernal desire
To harass and confuse,
Mangle and bewilder

Each leaf and limb
With every vicious

So that now I cannot grasp
The death of nightmare.
How it has passed away.

Or changed to this
Stillness, this clean peace
That seems so unshakable.

A branch beyond my reach says
“It is well f
or me to feel
The transfiguring breath
Of evil

Because yesterday
The roots by which I live
Lodged in apathetic clay.

But for that fury
How should I be rid of the slow death?
How should I know

That what a storm can do
Is to terrify my roots
And make me new?”

~ Brendan Kennelly ~.