It’s been an unseasonably warm last few days in Wisconsin. Last Friday I picked up my own children at the conclusion of the school day, both sweaty and their faces bright red from the humidity and the heat. Like me, they were crabby from a hot day of work. The three of us rejoiced at our home's air conditioning and cold treats. Later in the evening, I wrote this Haiku:
Kids find popsicle relief/
From a sticky day.
I love the simplicity of Haiku. There is just something about focusing on one topic or event from a day. I am also drawn to the rhythm and syllable counting of 5-7-5 in a Haiku poem.
If you search the phrase Haiku a day on Google, you will come up with over 26,000 hits. Inspired by so many people writing a daily Haiku and how three lines can be powerful and linger in my mind, I began writing a new Haiku each day last year. Often when I wrote a Haiku poem I tried to focus on something small that I was grateful for. Although I didn’t always write each Haiku in gratitude, it allowed me to focus and think deeply about what was going on in my life.
I asked two of my long distance writing friends, Sam and Deborah, if they would consider joining me in writing a Haiku a day for the month of December. To my delight and surprise, each of them agreed. Sam sent me a Haiku each day via text and Deborah emailed her Haiku to me. At the time, I was also going through a lot of personal mess. Writing and reading Haiku helped me start healing. Sharing my Haiku poems and reading their Haiku poems were among my favorite moments from last year.
Personally, I think that it is a tremendous gift to share writing with another person. In addition, I found that each time I read a new Haiku, I gained new insights about my friends. As I shared Haiku with these two friends, we often answered each other back and forth, communicating through Haiku verses. These were such magical conversations - something that I had never experienced before. Above all, their Haiku helped me keep my head above water on some rough days.
Sam and Deborah, I deeply thank you for writing with me.
Here are a few of the Haiku I wrote from last December (note that none of the Haiku are connected to each other):
Pieces within creates strength:/
Seek beauty through pain.
A Sunday snowstorm/
Slow down. Simple play. Marvel/
In season’s beauty.
With fragile patience/
I vie for peace instead of/
Their sibling squabbles.
My daughter, eight years old at the time, wrote her own Haiku. Some of her Haiku is some of my favorite pieces of writing. Ever.
|My daughter's Haiku about dancing.|
|As we waited for an appointment one morning, my daughter penned this lovely Haiku.|
I am not as disciplined as I was last December in writing a Haiku each day, but now I try to write one on the days that I remember. Often it is a reflection of what I want to remember about that day or a small moment.
The rhythm of writing Haiku continues to bring me comfort. I am grateful it has been a part of my writing life and something that I hope to continue.