Leaf of the Tree

Finding the Divine in the Details


Biding at the center of the circle


Photo: Nelson Ashberger

A friend described the rapid, often overnight changes appearing in the garden he and his wife have tended so carefully. Just days ago, there was limitless, burgeoning life in summer’s relentless sun and heat and rainfall.

Then, like a puff of breath on a dandelion gone to seed, it is spent and gone; fading away, or into decay.

In New England especially, these changes arrive as abruptly as the night chill that turns the leaves from green to scarlet.

“Stay at the center of the circle, and let all things take their course,” urges the Tao Te Ching.

Out at the sharp edges of the periphery, our very human selves can feel small and overcome, overwhelmed, in the inevitable enormity of change. The mind, confounded, struggles for purchase it can’t find.


Photo: Nancy Vincent Zinke

It’s then that a way is opened through which feelings, those unexpected guests left waiting so long in a side room, can emerge.

Autumn, in particular, with its cycles of death and harvest, seems well-suited for inviting forth the grief and pain that so much effort has tried so long to avoid, or contain.

Those seeds of unclaimed treasure found only in a heart broken open.

The center of the circle, that trustworthy core, can hold these, and us, as it holds all, and remind of what Rumi saw with such kind wisdom:


Photo: Nancy Vincent Zinke

Today, like every other day, we wake up empty
and scared.

Don’t open the door to the study
and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument.

Let the beauty we love be what we do. 
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the earth.

What is the beauty we love?

What are those hundreds of ways?

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Heart’s harvest — one writer’s grateful season

a "classic" colored one

As autumn arrives, I get a bit “nesty”, as well as reflective about where the year has brought me thus far. As my awareness turns toward this personal spiritual harvest, I feel closer than ever to the neighborly small town I’m blessed to live in.

When I lived in China’s second largest city for just four short months, I experienced some of the most exciting days of my life, but I also developed a spiritual homesickness I thought I might never get over.

True, my hometown’s no longer the kind where I’d leave my car running when I stop into a store. But it’s still the sort of place where you can dial a wrong number and wind up having an awfully nice chat with whoever’s on the other end. IMG_2706The bonds you form in a place like this are true friendships that have absolutely nothing to do with life’s outer appearances and everything to do with that inner light that glimmers in each life. They are soul connections, as important to genuine life and survival as clean air and water.

This year, my first novel, whose story is embedded in small-town New England life, is finding response from growing numbers of generous readers. I love hearing from you. It’s a rich harvest for my heart when a reader finds that the book’s story, “describes a place in the heart we all want to visit and eventually live in. Where wounded souls can heal and find love again.”

Reader Laurel Sabera wrote, “I finished this book at least a month ago, and I am still fantasizing about taking a trip up to visit Tess and Evan. They have become family to me in my mind.”

Every writer knows what it means when those people you will never meet, but who you live with, often for years, as they unveil their story to you, become as real to readers as they’ve always been to you.

Snow Fence Road CoverThis small-town writer feels a wonderful sense of full-circle gratitude as a visit to my wonderful local bookstore looms on the horizon.

I’ll be at Water Street Bookstore in Exeter with Snow Fence Road Thursday evening, Oct. 3. Do come by and say hello, if you’re in the neighborhood.

Find more information about my author visit at: http://www.waterstreetbooks.com/event/local-author-phyllis-edgerly-ring

More information about the book can be found here: https://phyllisedgerlyring.wordpress.com/make-a-beginning-and-all-will-come-right/