Ann Keiffer

Acorn Twig Wisdom

Years ago, a beloved most Wise Woman
introduced me to Urban Vision Quests.
Go out into the open air, she said.
Take with you your pressing question
or dilemma or need to understand.
Set your need-to-know aside and walk
…or observe from where you sit…
until something arrests your attention.
Become deeply curious about the thing
that seized your senses and awareness.
How might it speak to your question?
Last week I took a forever question about
love and mothering and grandmothering
out for a walk on an Urban Vision Quest,
lost myself in nature and the new day
and completely forgot my own question.
On the way back to the car, I spied a
lovely little oak twig on the sidewalk,
fallen to the ground with acorns attached.
Enchanted by beauty, I had to take it
home with me and tucked it in my pocket…
realizing only then how completely the twig
and its acorns had arrested my attention.
How might this twig speak to my question?
Turning it over in my mind, insights tumbled.
Each fully-formed acorn already had within it
all it needed to become a singular, strong oak,
no outside guidance or re-forming required.
I saw the acorn caps as first “homes,” how the
acorns let go, but the caps ever held the space.
I saw each cap and acorn were a unique fit,
with the next generation of acorns and caps
destined to be paired in one-to-one accord.
At home, more acorn wisdom: When I reached
in the pocket of my jacket to retrieve my lovely
twig—oh! In the confines of my pocket, all
of the acorns and caps but one had detached.
I see. A reminder not to hold my acorns too close.


Ann L. Keiffer
December, 2019

Image Credit: Digital collage by Ann Keiffer

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About Ann

I am interested in the strange beauty of brokenness, in transforming possibility in difficult times, in how we heal even when we can’t get better, in the alchemy of surrender, in the interplay of light and shadow, in the bounty of everyday wonders, in the gift of laughter…and writing about it, all and everything.

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