As Spring gets into full swing, the days are getting longer. Are you taking advantage of this season to sit outside and listen more? One such morning, a year or so ago, I was enjoying my front porch swing, listening to the mourning doves coo. I observed those delicate birds all sitting on the powerlines that rim my street, each, equal distance apart facing the same direction, all except for one — making a different choice…


I prefer the branch,
where the life
beneath your feet,
flows steady, slow, and sweet.

I know the crowd
gets quite a charge;
latched on, spaced out,
and all abuzz.

You can keep
your net-
work of wires.

I’ll stick to
my neighbor
hood of trees.

For me, fewer but deeper smaller
groups of friends,
instead of a growing shallow list that never ends.

The wire is no place to build a nest
or to try to raise your young.
No summer shade from leaves,
or fruit, or flowers come.

I prefer the branch,
old fashion as that is,
He died on one that we might live
and love through us all that are His.

Do you wrestle at all these days with the tension between quantity and quality of relationships?  Who doesn’t want the most social media friends? Isn’t that how we win? But is the price to be paid to acquire and keep all those friends the loss of more quality time with our closet relationships? What are the concrete steps you take to balance your quality personal time with your few significant relationships and the encouraging light social media time with your hundreds (or thousands) of “friends?”

Now, that’s what I would like to read some comments about.

The Branch, image and poem above, is part of my collection in my photography/poetry book entitled, LISTENING LIKE BREATHING (available on The book includes images, poems, and scriptures which are all inspired by outdoor scenes where I live, all within five miles of my home in Amarillo, Texas.