In The Orchard

Two years ago I planted a number of apple trees. During this last winter, a strong wind snapped off the top off one of the trees. This spring I noticed new growth coming from that broken sapling, just above the hybrid’s graft.

Grace Tanka

5/7/5 7/7

Damaged apple tree
Buds above the grower’s graft
Begins life again

Life gives some a second chance
When the sapling’s roots are strong

-CJ Holm

A Tender Embrace

By Clarence Holm

The death of a loved one brings many sensations to the surface. Whether the death was expected or unanticipated many raw emotions are exposed. In moments like this, family and friends play a vital role in the healing process. They act as sounding boards and offer support as heartaches are dealt with.


I gathered with family and friends the other day,
Clinging to memories, brushing heartaches away.
Joyful recollections of days that had slipped by
Fragments of stories, causing dreams to soar – then fly.
A look, a touch, a tender embrace
Transferring courage for this loss to face

I look to my Lord for reasons, questioning his way
Searching my soul for his guidance, seeking solace this day.
I listen intently to the hymns of trust, God’s love and care
And I hold a neighbor softly, shaking with despair.

A look, a touch, a tender embrace
Transferring courage for this loss to face

When my time on earth is ended
And God’s design is finally extended
I look forward to the answers
That I believe heaven will provide.

A look, a touch, a tender embrace
Knowing there’s a heaven and believing in God’s Grace.