Monday, December 22, 2014

Finding Gifts

I listen to the voice within
that asks me every day:
"What gifts did you find today?"

Did you walk the shaded trail,
where last spring's Jack-in-the-Pulpit
has transformed into a scarlet cluster ?

Have you felt the 
generosity of rain
washing your skin,
and witnessed 
rain rings 
the surface of a lake?

In weedy fields
that thrived under summer sun,
what has become of the
Queen Anne's Lace,
now that it's winter?

Do the crows use
a different language
in December versus May?

Remember these
bee-filled blossoms of June,

that the seasons changed into 
snow-filled berries of Hawthorn?

Does astonishment
still rise up
from the familiar;
from the fertile soil
of appreciation? 

What more can you wish for?

"I yearn to hear again,
the cascading call
of the Canyon Wren;
when my breath holds,
when my eyes close,
because you are that close."

The gift given; and received.
My thanks becomes praise,
and a promise to share.
May it be so.
© 2014 Richard Havenga

Listen to the call of the Canyon Wren

Photo Locations:

1, 2, 8, & 9 - Home Woods - Cannonsburg, Michigan 

3. Pickerel Lake Park - Kent County, Michigan

4, 5, 6, & 7. Grattan Township, Kent County, Michigan

10. & 11 - Wabasis Lake Park - Kent County, Michigan

12. Bryce Canyon National Park - Utah 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

My Daughter Sarah!

From the Atlantic...

to the Pacific...

From the Rocky Mountains of Colorado,

to the Wasatch Mountains of Utah,

to the Santa Catalina Mountains of Arizona,

Sarah shines her dazzling light into the lives of everyone she meets.

Here are the two people that give meaning to my life, give love to my life:
Mary Havenga and Sarah Havenga Partin

Now look at this fabulous birthday card Sarah sent her "Daddy" this week.

Read the warm words of love she wrote to me:

Click on photos to enlarge.

I have four bookshelves full of these handmade, personalized birthday and Father's Day cards. Here are a few:

Here stands the luckiest father on the planet.

I am blessed to be your father. You know how much I love you. 


Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Photo Location: Cascade Township, Kent County, Michigan

Eastern Kingbird - Tyránnus tyránnus

Monday, December 8, 2014

Short History of Rivers

From how far away did this water come?
I think of its sources; blended, mixed, combined. 
Thunderstorms and showers, snow and ice.
Tributaries, trout streams, and small creeks.
I see the collected current become this silent river. 


Bear Creek is somewhere in there.
Rogue River is wrapped within.
The Flat River enters at Lowell.
The Thornapple approaches from the south.
Add more from the Michigan map.

Their distinct voices are blended 
into this flowing stillness.
The Grand River is carrying its
silent chorus
into Lake Michigan. 

I am only saying: 
pay attention to the
short history of rivers.
Each river day appears the same, 
unless you account for:

the mix of molecules,
the surrounding land,
the gradient of light,
the depth of the water,
this new day.

This long linear ribbon of living current.
Always the same. Never the same.
Like time pulling you along,
when you want to wait
in this interval of now.

© 2014 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1, 7, & 8 = Grand River - Kent County, Michigan

2 & 5 = Flat River - Kent County, Michigan

3. Bear Creek - Townsend Park (Townsend) - Kent County, Michigan

4. Rogue River - Rockford Dam (Rockford Dam) - Rockford, Michigan

6. Thornapple River - Ada / Cascade, Michigan

Monday, December 1, 2014


Cold north winds are gusting.
Fast clouds spattering the sky.
Starlings swarming and restless.
Time to make a flight plan
before snow whitens the ground.

© 2014 Richard Havenga

Monday, November 24, 2014

Architectural Questions

From the inside, follow the spiraling silk 
around the circular architecture.
Notice the perfect spacing,
the radiating bands, tightening.
Some strands are sticky, some are not. 
Concentric rings? No, not exactly.

The sculptor 
of this amazing sculpture
produces liquid silk, 
from silk-producing glands,
becoming solid in the air.

Spinnerets spin fine silk 
only .15 microns in diameter.
The silk is strong, yet elastic. 
Can stretch 30% to 40% before it breaks.

How long to achieve this geometric perfection?
Overnight? Several hours?
Do you find the spider industrious?
Are you impressed by the web's functionality?
Fascinated by scientific explanation?
Is all this intricacy necessary?
Do you still find it miraculous ?

©  2014  Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1. Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary - (Corkscrew) National Audubon Center, 
Naples, (Naples) Florida (Florida

2. Snake River, Oxbow Bend - Grand Teton National Park, (Teton) Wyoming (Wyoming


Monday, November 17, 2014

Future Prayer

The river is now collecting
yellow leaves.
They are falling and giving 
a kind of grace 
to the woman watching.

She listens for their joining,
the welcome reception,
the soft touch of
leaf upon water,
the easy change of life. 

Accepting the new direction.
Living in the present.
Carried by the gentle current
to a new place 
of awareness. 

Grateful for this 
fragment of time 
flowing by without words,
she accepts the grace given,
watches more leaves land on the river.

One leaf
~its petiole pointing toward Heaven~ 
touches her soul gently,
like a future prayer
that could be answered.

© 2014 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1. & 2. Rogue River - (Rogue) Kent County, Michigan

3. Grand River - (Grand) Kent County, Michigan

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Soft Mystery

What soft mystery
is developing 
inside the purity
of this  white 
cactus flower?

A ring of spectators

circles the stage
to witness,
or to participate in,
a pollination ballet. 
© 2014 Richard Havenga

Dedicated to:
Joanne Jaglowski - Ballerina extraordinaire. 

You may also like: "Pollination Ballet" - June 3, 2013

Photo Location:

Saguaro National Park - Tucson,  Arizona 

Friday, November 7, 2014


Only yesterday
these leaves
danced on
slender petioles.

by the wind,
by the twigs.

Now, the slow grip
of frost
presses upon
dying leaves.

Their short lives
spent, fallen,
to the season.
©  2013  Richard Havenga

You may also enjoy "The Last Dance" - October 7, 2013 

Photo Locations:

1. Wabasis Lake Park, (WabasisKent County, Michigan 

2. Home Land,  Cannonsburg,  (Cannonsburg)  Michigan

3. Townsend Park, (TownsendKent County, Michigan 

Leaf Identification

1. Trembling Poplar - Populus tremuloides 

2. Norway Maple - Acer platanoides

3. Red Oak - Quercus rubra

Friday, October 31, 2014


Walking in late October...
I read the invitation:

"Country roads, lined with gold.
Tree shadows underfoot.
Yellow leaves may brush your cheek.
Close your eyes when taking deep breath.

Your presence requested,
down these autumn lanes."
(Leave phone at home)

Yesterday's gone.
Tomorrow's plan?

© 2014 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

Canon Township, Kent County, Michigan

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Promise III

Milkweed seeds
from fine, 
silvery threads.

Parachutes of promise
in an aerial dance
to a destination

even by the wind
that carries

The promise was made
for a chance
to live life,
to give life.

The opportunity
to accept,
and possibly

©  2014  Richard Havenga

You may also enjoy:

The Promise - May 19, 2013

The Promise II - July 2, 2014

Photo Locations:

1. 2. & 5. Grand River Nature Area  (GRNA)  Ada/Cascade Townships,  Kent County,  Michigan

3. Lafayette, (Lafayette) Colorado

4. Cannonsburg State Game Area, (Cannonsburg) Kent County, Michigan