As the editor of The Dewdrop, this has been a challenging year for me as I have tried to balance working on the site with my own professional and spiritual formation training as a hospital Chaplain. I’m grateful to readers and contributors for their patience with my reduced capabilities and am especially grateful to my two fellow editors Nicholas Trandahl and Ellis Elliott who have continued to give their time and energy to this project throughout the year.
It makes me so happy to see The Dewdrop’s community continue to grow, as I receive a stream of feedback from readers who tell me what a useful and meaningful resource this platform is in their lives. As I peruse this list of the most read posts of this year, I am reminded of the themes that stand out, that have most resonated with me and with our community of readers: the process of clearing and letting go, according to E.E. Cummings and May Sarton; the nourishing power of darkness as explored by Deborah Eden Tull and Wendell Berry; John O’Donohue, Jack Gilbert and Derek Walcott on relationships and love; awe and wonder at the power of nature in the work of W.S. Merwin, Ursula K. Le Guin, William Wordsworth and Leslie Ryan; the mystery of the spiritual journey according to Billy Collins, Spence Pfleiderer, Rooja Mohassessy and Christian Lillo; and Joann Stevelos, Tallu Schuyler and Samantha Imperi on living with pain, anger and loss.
I wish you wonderful things for the year ahead, and that your journey may continue to expand your horizons.
E.E. Cummings reflects on the necessity of clearing, of letting go of the things we cling to, in order to make way for love.
Ancient Celtic tradition upheld soul-friendships and the potential for inner growth that they teased out.
Berry’s poem is a reminder that to truly know darkness and its divine power, we need the courage to step into and leave the light behind.
Rather than signifying a lack or a void, Thich Nhat Hanh took emptiness to be a state of inextricable and fundamental interconnectedness.
May Sarton’s Journal of a Solitude is the upshot of a journey into herself, into simplification and self-examination.
Poet and theologian Pádraig Ó Tuama reflects on the use of the word ‘trouble’ in Irish language, and its relationship to grief and mourning.
Lifelong environmentalist W.S. Merwin said about his poem, Rain Light, ‘this is not a rational poem at all.’
Samantha Imperi’s powerful tragic poem “To my child, on God” muses God as a feminine force, forced to birth a universe she doesn’t want.
After a glioblastoma diagnosis, Tallu Schuyler Quinn wrote about what dying meant to her body, mind and heart in this series of moving essays.
The mystical teachings of trees are beautifully expressed in Ursula K. Le Guin’s poem, Kinship, in which she explores our own primal origins.
The mythology of failure, especially in love, is a frequent motif in Jack Gilbert’s poetry.
Collins’ outlandish and endearing image of the Buddha’s wholehearted snow shoveling, with thoughts of hot chocolate and an imminent game of cards.
This short poem – Wordsworth’s ode to a rainbow – is a simple and direct expression of awe and manifestation of ‘beginner’s mind.’
BY JOANN STEVELOS – What happens when an abandoned child grows up and one day buries her estranged father
An appropriate poem for these cold dark winter days, Leslie Ryan has written lines frozen with ferocious and gorgeous imagery and sparseness–like a rime-coated mountain.
The aptly-named A Simple Morning Prayer pleads for understanding and love, for connection and illumination in a handful of terse lines. This piece is evidence that a poem need not be complex or long-winded to be a thing of authentic beauty and power.
A gentle and joyful invitation to intimacy and love towards ourselves by Saint Lucian poet Derek Walcott.
Deborah Eden Tull explores the experience of darkness and how it can be a transformative and expansive human experience.
Iranian-born poet Rooja Mohassessy presents readers a work of luscious language, devotion, wonder, faith, and also disillusionment.
Christian Dillo on a contemporary Zen approach to awakening and what meaningful transformation actually looks like.