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Growth is measured in so many ways.

A ruler

or scale,

the tick-tock of a clock.

Counted footsteps, carefully walked 

toe to heel

to toe

across the sand.

An inch on a map =

five hundred miles on land.

Pencil marks on grandma’s wall--

feet flat, shoulders back

stand up straight.

Every year

a bit higher

never scrubbed away,

a smudged reminder of where we’ve been.

Growth is measured in 



grades (plus! minus!) shoved in pockets of backpacks.

Hours spent in front rows on church pews.

Pounds gained

inches lost

trophies, ribbons, medals

hung around necks, displayed proudly on our walls--

nails bending, necks heavy with the weight of our own accomplishment. 


what about the growth we cannot measure? 

The most important growth.

What if there isn’t a 


or calculation

or trophy case of the soul?

What if no one is keeping track? 

How do we know

that we

have grown?

How much dirt did we wash off our hands at the end of the day?

How many hours did we go without shoes--

the earth soft and warm beneath our feet, 



our roots.

How many mornings did we wake with the birds,

dress ourself in morning sun 

and sit in the silence of 

what seems to be nothing

but really,

might be


Have we shared kind words today?

Have we planted

a seed, 

a thought? Have we taught?

Have we questioned,

then learned something new?

Have we slowed down? Have we laughed?

Have we felt 

the awe

of the simple

and mundane?

Have we looked at the overlooked?

Have we rested,

and then opened our eyes,

felt something new


in our SELF?

An unfamiliar space

for light to shine.

We don’t have the tool to measure

these things.

A ruler won’t reach,

a scale isn’t big enough.

But try 

not to worry…

Feet flat,

shoulders back,

I think--


we are growing.

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