Lessons from a blade of grass

Today I was told to take a walk, notice something and listen to what it might say to me. I knew I would find something and draw it but I wasn’t sure what.

The landscape seemed fairly barren to me. I noticed some tall grass, gone to seed, that needed to be mowed. One stalk was taller with more light seeds atop its long neck. It seemed to wave to me saying “Here I am! Choose me” so I picked it. I went to a nearby staircase and sat with it and my journal/sketchbook.

I thought I would draw the seed tassels at the top but as I looked at it, the place where the lowest and largest of the leaves grew from the stalk drew my attention. I started drawing there. I noticed tiny filaments growing from the edge of the narrow leaf and indicated those in my drawing. Then I imagined the blade of grass talking: “Thank you for noticing me. Most people think of me as a weed – if they think of me at all. You even noticed the tiny hair-like structures on my leaves. I was just going to die here the next time the mower came by or if you had stepped on me. I will die now since you picked me but I will be remembered. Thank you that I will not die unnoticed.”

As I wrote the last two sentences, I started weeping. I realized that the thing that connects the artist part of me and the hospice chaplain part of me is that on good days I “notice” the things and people I draw, the art students I teach and the hospice patients I visit.

“Lord, help me to truly notice and listen to the objects and people you place around me. Thank you for this simple blade of grass and its gift to me today. May all the objects and people I see feel that they have been noticed. Thank you for noticing me. Amen.”

Image of Cherry Winkle Moore
Cherry Winkle Moore
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Cherry Winkle Moore is a visual artist and a retired hospice chaplain. Cherry has a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting, drawing and printmaking from the University of Alabama. Later she completed a Master of Divinity degree with an emphasis in pastoral care. Cherry sometimes says that in her case the MFA stands for Minister of Fine Arts and the MDiv stands for Making Divine Images Visible.

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