I have been feeling rather lost lately – my mind scattered by the unpredictable rhythms of new motherhood and the attempt to pursue (perhaps too much of) what I did before I had a baby. Today I found myself a quiet moment under our apple tree, on a blanket with my daughter who takes endless delight in staring at light filtering through tree branches. A poem I memorized years ago floated back into my mind and gave me comfort.
Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here.
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.
(published in David Whyte’s The House of Belonging)