Toward a Flourishing Future

Haikus – Part 1 of 2

by Mary Ellen Durbin

The natural world has always been a window into the holiness of God, the wonder of creation. Most of my haikus emerge from moments of encounter, and moments of reflection, about our current environmental challenges, in the light of faith and hope. Often, I become very discouraged about our chances for survival as a human species. Since Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si, my awareness, reflection, and my faith in God’s transforming power of love have grown. I participated in the Wheaton Franciscan conversation over the months about Laudato Si’, and I often read our community action plan pledge as a prayer, that I may live with intention and integrity.


Nothing stays the same.

And so, learn how to let go.

Imitate the trees.


I long for wildness

To be deep in the forest,

Where I’ve never gone.


 A kind of music

Moves through the trees each morning

As birds and breeze meet

Our world pulsates with

New life and diversity.

Wonders never cease.


The present moment

Holds the world’s great suffering,

And deep compassion.

To be at home in

This mysterious cosmos

Is to be AWAKE.

We are life on Earth.

Wake up and listen to the

Sounds of Earth crying.

The natural course

Is persistent renewal, Life

following death.

There’s a coherence

At the heart of all nature.

The Universe knows.

One enormous sun

Rises in the eastern sky.

Morning humbles me.


At the edge of dawn,

A sliver of a white moon…

Then, slowly, light spills.

Celebrate what’s clear…

Clean air, sunshine, pure water…

The next three seconds.


Nature’s paradox:

Water lilies grow in slime,

From mud…pure beauty.

Wild animals don’t

Try to be anyone else.

They are who they are.


The path of nature

Is filled with diversity.

Everything belongs