Give me the gifts and qualities of plants.
Rather than strength of bears,
Or skill of wolves and eagles,
Instead I choose the older ways.
Instead I choose to be like oak,
Old carer for a hundred other lives,
Safe haven for the mighty,
And refuge to the weak.
Let me like wild rice by water’s edge,
Remain unbroken by the storm,
A haven for the loon’s newborn,
And sustenance for those who starve.
I choose the mayflower, thorn bush sweet,
Within who’s branches safety’s found,
From cat and dog, from hawk and owl,
A place of sanctuary from all harm.
I wish to take the quality of rose,
Bright flowered and sweet upon the air,
Bringer of healing to the soul,
And lover’s gift to those who care.
Give me the flexibility of yew,
The right to poison those who harm,
A gift to soldier and to hunter,
To fight for right and hunt for food.
The apple sweet, the sweetgrass smoke,
The strength of walnut, foxglove’s medic,
The hope in winter ivy brings,
Please, my Creator, let these be me.
I do not ask for glorious life,
But life of service, life of worth,
Of gifts more powerful than those,
Who seek for glory not for worth.
Now in my garden do I see,
Some thousand, thousand teachers,
Who talk of life as lived in work,
Supportive, protective, and with worth.
Oh, I am grateful for each one.