Clearing ~ Martha Postlewaite
Do not try to save the whole world or do anything grandiose.
Instead, create a clearing in the dense forest of your life
and wait there patiently,
until the song that is your life
falls into your own cupped hands
and you recognize and greet it.
Only then will you know how to give yourself
to this world
so worthy of rescue.
I think this might be my favorite poem ever. Oh, there are so many poems that have spoken to my heart and Lord knows I love me some Hafiz, but this poem speaks directly to me, to where I am and have been and want to be. It’s one of those things that makes the waiting worthwhile.
I am waiting on so many things, but not in the way I used to be. You see, I had grandiose dreams and lots of them, and I was waiting for the stars to align so I could thread the needle and slingshot my way to fully realized awesomeness. That had a few different definitions, most of them vague but contributing to world peace, access to essentials for all, better entertainment and a whole lot more love in the world. Yep. Grandiose.
Of course, life happens. Things change. Dreams change. Sometimes they change because circumstances change, sometimes due to disappointment; illness, new priorities…
About a dozen years ago, I had a friend tell me about the importance of my becoming grounded. Now, I’ve been spiritually inclined all my life, but for the life of me I had no idea what she meant. My reality was about moving quickly, my talents revolved around dreaming, enlightenment was about transcendence, grounding didn’t even make sense to me and what I could make of it sounded like a terrible idea.
It took me years to slow down. Years and a breakdown in my health. That got my attention. And what did this health crisis teach me? That my grandiose plans and impatience to ‘get there’ maybe didn’t serve me or anyone else.
And so these last 7 years or so have been primarily about grounding. Slowing down. Creating space. Accepting. Surrendering. Letting Go. Learning about grounding literally and figuratively. Learning to garden. Learning to nourish and nurture. Learning to prune. Learning to breathe. Creating a clearing in the dense forest of my life… and wait there patiently…
And each day, I tend that clearing. And each day I sit. And… crickets. Perhaps they are singing the song that is my life, but I don’t recognize it. So the second half of this poem eludes me, but gives me reason to hope.Because I really don’t know how to give myself to this world. I’ve only just established the basics in giving to this little microcosm of my family. And that little clearing? That little clearing is both the journey and the destination for me now. That it may lead to some kind of knowing how to be in the world is truly a thought that makes my heart sing, but today? Today I am just so grateful for the clearing. So happy to sit, with my little cupped hands.. not even waiting, just being. And that is enough.