Two long-buried poems from a few years back visit me in this moment to express my current truth. The haiku was from challenge to distill an essence of your entire life into 17 syllables.
How surface tension holds the weight of the world
I will never know.
A heart resides submerged,
the reflection’s underside its ceiling
never fully exposed to light of day.
On the verge of drowning, the heart floats,
finds safety in leaving the body to ride
wind, trees, clouds and rain.
Freed from its moorings and misunderstandings,
the heart encounters a moss carpet, wild strawberries,
fir tree guardians,
drawing a mirage to guide it home.
~ Erin Waterman
My Life in 17 Syllables
My child arms open,
Find me among tall fir trees
Walking the stars home.
~ Erin Waterman
And a blessing for my daughter close to venturing out.
For The Traveler, by John O’Donohue
Every time you leave home,
Another road takes you
Into a world you were never in.
New strangers on other paths await.
New places that have never seen you
Will startle a little at your entry.
Old places that know you well
Will pretend nothing
Changed since your last visit.
When you travel, you find yourself
Alone in a different way,
More attentive now
To the self you bring along,
Your more subtle eye watching
You abroad; and how what meets you
Touches that part of the heart
That lies low at home:
How you unexpectedly attune
To the timbre in some voice,
Opening in conversation
You want to take in
To where your longing
Has pressed hard enough
Inward, on some unsaid dark,
To create a crystal of insight
You could not have known
When you travel,
A new silence
Goes with you,
And if you listen,
You will hear
What your heart would
Love to say.
A journey can become a sacred thing:
Make sure, before you go,
To take the time
To bless your going forth,
To free your heart of ballast
So that the compass of your soul
Might direct you toward
The territories of spirit
Where you will discover
More of your hidden life,
And the urgencies
That deserve to claim you.
May you travel in an awakened way,
Gathered wisely into your inner ground;
That you may not waste the invitations
Which wait along the way to transform you.
May you travel safely, arrive refreshed,
And live your time away to its fullest;
Return home more enriched, and free
To balance the gift of days which call you.
~ John O’Donohue ~