Inspired as I walked through the woods  around my former high school campus in November
~Atlanta was in the midst of a serious drought and so was a dear friend of mine~

During the Drought

I think the leaves are brighter for the drought,
Their canopy of color overhead—
Luminous orange, feisty red, burnt yellow—
Shuddering or applauding in the breeze.
The creek crawls slowly far below the path.
Perhaps the leaves worked harder to find drink;
Deeper, deeper the roots, searching for life,
Drink their fill and then the trees explode in
Exuberant boasting—their vibrant flash
Of color sizzling into my memory,
A happy burn.
The maple does not watch the oak beside,
With iridescent flames of orangey red,
And compare them with its own crimson leaves.
Nor does it know its gorgeous garb of red,
A holy proclamation. 
Too busy with its arms outstretched to God—
Creator of splendor, Giver of life—
Those sparkling limbs offset by cobalt sky,
Offering praise to God who reigns on high,
And then when leaves float softly to the path,
Painting it with hues for squirrels and deer,
And limbs are bare,
The tree waits patiently for its rebirth.

So let me be, dear Lord, ever reaching
       Deeper into You to find, in my drought,
     My nourishment in the soil of Your Word.
  For the dryer it seems, the deeper I must reach
       Until I am like the oak or maple,
  Bright and resplendent, a testimony
  Of your grandeur, and I do not see it
   Or others, nor care, so focused am I
                      Upon Your face,
  My leaves a gentle ripple of applause
                     For Who you are.

~ Elizabeth Goldsmith Musser, November, 2007