Today I sat still long enough
to notice a bee steal kisses
from a host of willing petal mouths.
To hear the veld beat
with the rhythm of cicada drums.
To sense the shadows shifting
on a pallet of green and gold.
To listen to my heart pounding weariness
and feel the heavy yearning in my bones.
To touch the flicker of longing
that asks:
What if?

What if I stop
straining to gain applause,
striving to be wittier, wiser,
a more eloquent me?
What If I do
nothing more
yet nothing less
than take my true place here:
kissing and drumming and shining
my own shade of colour into the world?
What if I

Today I sat still long enough.


I wrote this poem after I spent a morning at the Botanical Gardens. I had brought my Bible, my books and a notepad. I was planning to study and read and  write (something I’ve been struggling with lately). Instead, I just sat. Sat and watched. Sat and listened. But mainly I just sat. I didn’t pray or open my Bible or write what I’d planned (okay, I wrote the poem, but that was just a reaction to what I saw and realised as I sat!). 

It was a beautiful time – just what I needed.

Be still and know that I am God.

Our noisy, busy world drowns out bees, cicadas, our longings, our tiredness, the Truth.

Be still and know.

Sometimes we just need to sit still long enough.

Be still.


(Psalm 46:10)


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  1. So beautiful Joan. Yes we would benefit from my time spent just being, in silence.

  2. Very thought provoking. What we mostly lack – thinking time and mindfulness.

  3. Just so raw and personal. Touching me deeply. Thank you Joan

  4. Nicole Campbell

    Lovely 🙂

  5. I LOVE this Joan. In our busy world we SO need to stop for a little while. This was a good reminder. 🙂

  6. ABSOLUTELY!!! Beautifully expressed Joan.
    Just ‘being’ is almost frowned upon in our society… we have to be striving to ‘do better/more… We are not called to ‘understand ‘or ‘find’ God or even ourselves..but to ‘be open’ before God and come to know God and be ourselves.

  7. Diana Agbayani

    Beautiful! Thanks Joan

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