The Secret of Unfurling


holly grantham -the secret of unfurling-3

Can I tell you something?
For too long
I heard wrong.
And misunderstood
the language of
the years.
This mistake
shaped me
for a time.

Calendars flipped and
my body curved
and still
I was quiet.
Each year sifted down
upon my head
I became hidden.

But see this–
Look with me at
what is also true:
I fell in love with the
I smelled deep of orange rind
and wood smoke
I delighted in the feel of
moss and
ripe peaches
I fell in and out and
in and out
and in and
out of

Years of quiet were
planted deep in
the bosom of
The peonies beside the driveway
told my listening ear
the secret of unfurling.
Of opening to the light.
Their unassuming knowing
was audacious.
And my soul knew it.
Memorized it.

I remember
sitting in the bathtub
when I was five.
It was June.
The locusts had yet to begin
their humming.
My feet
they were deep purple
from having walked barefoot
underneath the mulberry tree.
The silky squish underfoot was
But it stained.
And my five year old self
filed that knowledge
The truth that
everything we take in
leaves a mark.
Colors us.
Paints us beautiful.
Even if it never makes a sound.

The years
add creases or
weight or
But they also
stain us with
And beauty can not stay
It doesn’t know how.

Holly Grantham
Holly is a wife, very relaxed homeschooling mom of three boys, snapper of photos, coming of age writer and a soul drowning in grace. After years in Atlanta where she attended college, married the love of her life and lived in an intentional community, she found her way back to her home state of Missouri. She now lives in an antebellum stone house, raises chickens (sometimes) and pretends that she lives in the country.
Holly Grantham

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Holly Grantham
  • This aging body/soul is rejoicing in the truth of your words, always so beautiful.

    • Holly

      Thank you, Michele. The aging, it keeps happening. What we do with that reality, that is how we unlock the magic.

  • This is beautiful, and exactly what I needed to hear this morning. Thank you!

    • Holly

      Thank you, Alina, for being here.

  • Sarah Lindsay

    Such a gorgeous poem. Thank you!

  • “But they also stain us with beauty.” – such a lovely line. Thank you for this, friend.

  • “I fell in love with the world.” That line… It’s the whole point, right?

  • sandyhay

    Oh yes, the aging. But then I have all you sweet women to remind me of the beauty of that. So beautiful Holly. 🙂

  • pastordt

    Lovely. Thank you, sweetheart.

  • “Beauty cannot stay hidden… it doesn’t know how.” So powerful!

  • Your beautiful words found their way right to my heart. Thank you, Holly.

  • Holly I keep returning to these words. They speak deeply to me. Feed me in a way something in me’s desperate for. Thank you. 💙

  • Holly,
    Thank you for looking with me at what is also true.