Tag Archives: family reunion

Poetry for a Very Special Occasion

Danielle and Perry

Our family has an annual summer reunion that in recent years has been hosted by Annalisa, the daughter with the biggest house.  My sister Rita and my first cousin Ruth, as activity and entertainment directors of the three-day event, plan complex games for the children and inspiring rituals for the adults.

This year the family reunion was also billed as an engagement party for our third daughter Danielle and her fiancé Perry.  Among the written instructions issued by Rita were that we send photographs of Danielle for a display table and that we prepare to stand and deliver a congratulatory and inspiring message to the betrothed couple.  The extroverts among us relished the idea of expounding within that formal circle while the introverts struggled for what they might say.

My wife Pat, as usual, had the solution for our contribution to the program.  I would write a meaningful poem that she could illustrate and put into a fine-arts frame for perpetual display.  A poem on demand?  I hoped for inspiration.  I also knew that I could not perform whatever I wrote due to my reputation for emotionality, so Pat agreed to read the yet unwritten poem.

I could not bring myself to the poetic task for weeks, and Pat despaired of my writing the poem with time enough for her to frame it prior to the June 24 scheduled event.  Then unexpectedly, in the last week prior to the trip, I found the words.

Here then for Danielle and Perry, to be married on November 11, and for you readers in the category of “where do poems come from?” is The Blessing Tree.

Rhododendron in bloom

 The Blessing Tree 

 This spring the large rhododendron

Beside our driveway bloomed                          

Like it never had before

In hundreds of pink flowers

That clustered in magnificent bouquets.

The tree seemed to reach out

To everyone who passed

With a blessed reminder

Of how life can be                                               

Walked in beauty.

The season of magnificence

In the rhododendron passes,

But its blessing continues

In the promise of another year.

Human beings also flower                         

In their evolving

Toward a greater capacity

For blessing each passerby.

They grow into unions

That bless their families

Through marriage, and what love

They express is returned

To them like the bounty

Of our rhododendron tree

In blossoms too numerous to count.

We now look upon Danielle and Perry

As both the givers and

The receivers of many blessings,

And we celebrate the blooming

Of their love and ours

With them in the perfect experience

Of a wondrous season

Where the blessing tree

Is our family tree.

 

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