Handbook

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She was ahead of me in the checkout,
one hand reaching into her grocery cart,
the other pressing a cell phone to her ear.
She was complaining, loudly,
“The problem is there’s no manual for life.”

I don’t think that’s true.

So I texted her a picture of the tulip poplars in my backyard
with this suggestion,
“Aren’t trees really a handbook from God?”

Look, here’s how to go about life:
Be rooted deeply in something,
it helps you to stand tall.
Bend in the breeze.
Give shade and shelter.
Trust that spring will follow every winter.
When the time comes, let go.
Reach your arms out to embrace all of this holy life.

Honestly, what else is there to know?

-Joell Stebelton

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