Thursday, July 30, 2015


Stepping into the river,
wet sand gives way under my feet.

The river is calming, 
and I am calm.

Up to my knees now, and
ribbons of water plants
brush my calf muscles.

The river is calming,
and I am calm.

Wading deeper, up to my waist,
the current caresses my thighs.

The river is calming,
and I am calm.

Up to my chest now, and
the weight of the water
pushes me over,
carries me along,
slowly, gently,
soothing my muscles.

The river is calming,
and I am calm.

Letting myself go,
I lie down in the water,
give in to the current,
feel the flow of life.

The river is calming,
and I am calm.

Face up and
floating on my back,
high branches
along the riverbank
form a frame
for the summer clouds
drifting by.

The river is calming,
and I am calmed.

With my ears underwater,
and my eyes on the sky,
a sweet silence surrounds me.
I become a part
of this earth stream,
a grateful recipient
of these natural gifts
flowing from a generous God.
© 2015 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1. Flat River - Fallasburg Park - Kent County, Michigan

2. Grand River - Plainfield Township - Kent County, Michigan 

Monday, July 27, 2015


A Yellow Pond Lily
explodes with color
on the skin of dark water.

Did some kind of 
creation music play
when it broke the surface?

Should I wait
to witness the next
percussion performance?

© 2015 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1. 2. & 4. Pickerel Lake - Kent County, Michigan

3. Estero,  Florida

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Gift of Days

we have nothing
to give you
but praise
for what you
give us
this day...

our gift of days
that displays

these samples
and examples

of your grand creation
to stimulate our imagination,

to grow our admiration
in a place for meditation.
© 2015 Richard Havenga

Photo Location:

Grand Teton National Park - Wyoming 

Monday, July 20, 2015

May You Walk III

May you walk along summer gardens colorful with birds and blooms.

May you walk along shady riverbanks of slow current 
with fish feeding at the smooth surface.

May you walk through native prairies tall with coneflowers. 

May you walk along rural roads beside fields 
rich with topsoil growing soybeans and corn.

May you walk after rain in warm meadows
fresh with sweet clover.

May you walk along the edge of dense woods 
with Staghorn Sumac clustering yellow-green.

May you walk during dusk, when columns of cumulus 
are illuminated by the sun already set.

May you walk through the seasons of your life attentive and alert, 
with a joyful sense of gratitude.

© 2015 Richard Havenga

You may also enjoy:

May You Walk - February 7, 2014

May You Walk II - January 12, 2015

Photo Locations:

1. Home Garden - Cannonsburg, Michigan

2. Rock River - Grand Detour, Illinois

3. St. Mary's Quarry/Prairie Restoration - Dixon, Illinois

4. Lee County, Illinois

5. & 6. Grattan Township - Kent County, Michigan

7. Pickerel Lake Park - Fred Meijer Nature Preserve - Kent County, Michigan

Monday, July 13, 2015

Small Blessings

Each day
holds small blessings
quietly disguised as:

Lobed Cardinal Flowers;
intensely scarlet,
thriving within 
summer's deep shade.

Towering Horsetails;
rigid, ribbed straws
firmly sheathed
and stacked
in storeys. 

Dangling Jewelweed;
an orange ornament,
an invitation funneling
into suspended
secret chambers.

Supple Jewelweed;
droplets of orange,
tiny trumpets of nectar
inviting bees
and hummingbirds. 

I have a feeling that you
have reflected on these thoughts
held, perhaps, within the deep, quiet
shade of your heart.
© 2015 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

Ada Township - Kent County, Michigan

Friday, July 10, 2015

Saturday Morning Backroads III

Welcome to this third edition of: "Saturday Morning Backroads".

Please sit back, relax, 
and enjoy the ride.
Enter each place.
Picture yourself there. 
Become a part of the scene.

Hollyhocks, 10-Mile Road - Rockford, Michigan 



Mary picking Wild Black Raspberries

Eastern Chipmunk

Monarch Caterpillar

 Colorado Blue Spruce (female cones)

Dew on Jewelweed leaf


Whitetail Deer fawns

You may also enjoy:

Saturday Morning Backroads II - October 8, 2014

Now you may want
to find your own
"Saturday Morning Backroads".

Take some time,
make some time,
to get out and about.
Bring your family.

Be sure to get out
of your car
before you drive too far. 
Walk slowly, observe closely.

It's all there for you.
Please share this beautiful view.
© 2015 Richard Havenga

Note: All of these photographs were taken very near my home in Kent County, Michigan. 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Soft Parade

along this trail of words,
alert among present circumstances,
into secret chambers
of spring wildflowers.

The red and yellow crowns
of Wild Columbine,
and the perky
Blue Flag Iris,
its feet wading
the edge of wetlands.

Wild Geraniums and Honeysuckle
of May
begin to fade away
as Sweet Clover 
and Cinquefoil
take the June stage.

Walking outdoors through
transitions and transformations,
continuous changes,
daily differences,
miracles by the moment.

Will you witness
this pageant of natural beauty?
Will you observe
this procession of creation?
Will you join this
soft and silent parade?

Is there time
in one of your days
to follow 
this trail of words,
to enter 
these secret chambers? 
© 2015 Richard Havenga

You may also enjoy: Woodland's Royal Crown June 8, 2012  - also about Wild Columbine.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Evening Stage

Evening serenade:

Gray Catbird carrying on
near my left ear,
Yellow-throated Vireo
singing from the right.

dead calm,
warm and humid.

The woods are filling
with the fresh green
of new leaves
in deep spring.

A Pileated Woodpecker
cackles in flight
from the north woods,
his harsh call traveling
west to east.

Gray Tree Frogs
babble and jabber
while camouflaged 
in the most woods.

Sandhill Cranes 
yodel from the distant bog;
sounding like they're 
gargling pebbles.

And the light ‒
it's always about
the light ‒
catches the edges 
of soft cumulus
slowly sailing to the northeast

where a Phoebe 
repeats its plaintive call.

A light-green inchworm
climbs its own
swaying strand 
of silver silk.

As dusk approaches,
ready to slide 
over the end of the day,
the season's first 
Wood Thrush
sings sweetly
into the diminishing light,
and the Chorus Frogs
in the wetland
take their turn
to perform
on the evening stage.

© 2015 Richard Havenga