Maggie de Vries

From the Chrysalis      by Emily Dickinson

My cocoon tightens, colors tease,
I’m feeling for the air;
A dim capacity for wings
Degrades the dress I wear.

A power of butterfly must be
The aptitude to fly.
Meadows of majesty concedes
And easy sweeps of sky.

So I must baffle at the hint
And cipher at the sign,
And make much blunder, if at last
I take the clew divine.

Maggie de Vries

I write books for children and for teens. I’ve written a memoir for adults. I teach creative writing at UBC, both in person and online. I have now completed life-coach training with world-renowned coach and author Martha Beck. I live with my husband and our two cats in a Vancouver townhouse overlooking the Fraser River.

I found myself on a complicated journey this past year. I learned the Alexander Technique, exploring the brain/body connection, abandoning what I believed about exercise, but unsure what that means or where it leads. I’m deepening my spirituality or at least longing to do so: I am attending church (Unitarian) most Sundays, and at last I am meditating daily. I’m struggling with food, questioning my decision to cut out wheat and sugar, wondering what I really know about my own responses to gluten and glucose and just about everything else. I’m seeing a life coach and have become a life coach myself, even as I work at settling more deeply into my work as a teacher of creative writing.

 Maggie de Vries

Recent Posts

Communing with Trees

IMG_1871Have you ever sat on a park bench in the middle of a circle of trees, inhaled their scent, enjoyed their shade, gazed up through their branches… and felt loved?

That’s what happened to me just now, out on a walk in Ballard, where I’m housesitting for two weeks. I had found a little green rectangle on my map and made for that. It turned out to be Salmon Bay Park, one square block of rolling hills and meandering paths, picnic area and playground on the east side, trees and benches on the west. I picked a bench and sat.

I watched people pushing baby carriages. I listened to muted playground sounds. But most of all, I loved the trees. It was a hot day, and their spicy scent was in every breath. I took in their shape, their movement, their colour, and, all of a sudden, I felt them loving me back.

I don’t mean literally. At least, I don’t think I do. They’re not Ents, after all. But they were shading me, cooling me, making oxygen for me to breathe, filling my world with beauty. I felt their grand stillness, their solid rootedness, their openness to wind, to rain, to drought, to whatever came.

There’s wisdom in all of that. And somehow there’s kindness too. And IMG_1869love. I know. I know. I’m giving my imagination too much free rein. But I also know that few things are more healing than communing with trees.

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