Benediction by Laura Sawyer

Students share their interests and passions in many ways.  Laura Sawyer, a long time student, shared this rich and beautiful poem, a meditation on her connection with herself and nature’s elements in the forest at the Hoyt Arboretum in Portland.




Sunday mornings find me hiking
through a million shades of green,
in a soaring cathedral of sequoia and redwood, ferns gentle on the ground.

my way through the forest, every step
a meditation,
coolness and the scent of mingled vegetation, a sheltering surround.

Breathing in the sacred silence,
broken only by the sound of my dog huffing quietly beside me
and the wind singing through the trees, restoring what was missing deep inside.

Sharing peace
on the faces of strangers on the trail, fellow travelers
through the echoes of the holy
in this church of the arboretum, unfailing mender of my soul.