I recently spent a Saturday at a retreat on Physician Spirituality. How refreshing the simple thought of that is!

As physicians we have the honor of sitting in the doorway between life and death more often than most people do. We’re there during births, deaths, and life changing health crises in our patient’s lives. These often correlate with some sort of spiritual transition. So, it was a beautiful day on this special Saturday for me to sit and contemplate this theme, beyond the sunshine and an amazing group of physicians.

The day was modeled somewhat after the work of Dr. Rachel Remen, whom I adore for her leadership in the area of physician wellness, especially her Finding Meaning in Medicine groups. This particular event was facilitated by some folks at Seton Cove. For those of you in the Austin area, I highly recommend this pearl of wisdom down the street from my office.

One of the exercises we did was to sit silently outside, concentrating on something in nature for 30 minutes. It was a wonderful mindfulness exercise. I encourage everyone to try this simple task as often as possible. Even start with 10 minutes, and just listen.

During my 30 minutes I was moved to write this poem. I was reminded of what can come in the power of being present in the movement. Some of my peers at the event encouraged me to share it, so here it is:

For Now, I can stay rooted where I am
Sitting under the tree
Consider it
How many years? How many seasons? How has it survived?
The green leaves of spring collecting the sunshine– dancing in the wind
They can dance, wave — be a home for the whole world within it

And the roots go deep
Perhaps under me — under the rock on which I sit
Drinking up the moisture
A butterfly comes — considering the leaf
And the dead broken branch adjacent
The sticks randomly arranged
Forming Nature’s sculpture

The wind blows
Holy spirit– is that you?
One branch — V-shaped
Almost impaling the long fallen half of the tree in front of me
Stuttering, stuttering….in the wind

No birds came today
Not during this frame of time
They are off in the distance
But I am here
Here is good
Consider it
Don’t judge
I can stay rooted where I am
Because after all
That is where I am