Dear Professor Simon: Walking Among The Trees

Cooper Dowd

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After leaving my first class with Professor Simon, I somehow knew that despite the many fears of entering a new chapter of life, there was friendship, encouragement and hope to be found. For me and many of Professor Simon’s students, those joys and virtues were things he embodied—in his sacrificial character and love for his students, his profession and most of all, the good Lord. Among the tall trees of new responsibilities, new fears, and new doubts, Professor Simon was a joyful teacher, encourager, and friend.

This poem is my attempt to honor that legacy of sacrificial care.

Dear Professor Simon,

“Walking Among The Trees”

Walking beneath the trees I found a friend.
His leaves, he loosened freely,
Even at my smallest breath.
The ground was wet and bled,
Orange, gold, and red
Pigment of his complimentary leaves.
When I fell, he followed,
Though his branches, drooping low,
Were never barren,
Always full.
Pointing heavenward,
Always gently dawning sun’s blonde
Ray, and reaching up, as if to say:
“I’m fond of you.”
Even when the evenings rained,
He listened.
The downpour sifted,
Quietly, as streams,
Running through his bark’s grooves and grins;
Carrying wisdom down to me.
Walking among the trees I found my way.
Until one day,
My friend had gone.
Yet,
His leaves were many,
On the ground.
An echo of eternal sound
I found among the other trees.
So I gently gathered memories,
In orange, gold, and red;
Still, all glowing as an ember,
As to remember
My friend among the trees.

– Cooper Dowd, Biola journalism student