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I head to a retreat tonight and I hope that it replenishes my creative spirit. These are the lyrics to a song by Claudia Schmidt. The poem has a nature theme, but the idea of replenishing one’s self is strong, natural, and metaphoric in this case.

We go on, we go on,

Canoe under the hot sun,

The upturned paddles guide liquid to our

dry mouths.

Water within us, water surrounds us,

A great mystery our becoming dry at all.

Replenish, replenish, all must be replenished.

The water within and without.

All that fills, all that surrounds us:

The great whistling pines,

The tenacious beaver,

The ancient loon,

The rush of the young eagle’s wings as it

dips low over our canoe.


The eyes bathed in this delicate solitude,

The trembling eternity,

Called back in mid-sweep only to be

assessed by green parched eyes


Each shriveled heart

Which has its moments only at events set

aside for its song,

But cannot fly for the connection

Between the rock and the human body,

The heron’s wing and the hope in our souls,

We go on,

We go on.

Our paddles dance with the lake water to

the music in our throats.

We will grow dry again

Perhaps leap into the water

A small and symbolic celebration of a great

and endless task

Which gracefully undertaken,

Might allow us to go on, and on, and on.

About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and taught for 15 years in a wonderful hybrid school. My dissertation topic and research were how certain teachers experience becoming who teachers. In teaching and leanring, I am a boundary-crosser who understands moving ahead is a leap of faith. Teaching is a calling and vocation to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what calls me next. I am an educator, phenomenologist, scholar, boundary-crosser, published poet, author, parent, grandparent, and spouse.

15 responses »

  1. Beautiful! May you have a wonderful time!

  2. What a wonderful way to characterize your time away…I hope you renew and replenish and enjoy.

  3. I just love the sheer expression of inter-being and interconnectedness in the poem. Beautiful! Thanks Ivon

  4. Beautifully Characterized.

  5. Heading off to a retreat to replenish creative thoughts sounds fantastic! Love the post! 🙂

  6. To go on is a cycle of renewal.


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