Welcome Home …

I could not be a poet without the natural world. Someone else could. But not me. For me the door to the woods is the door to the temple.
— Mary Oliver from Upstream

Welcome Home

Alone in the alien, snow-blown woods,
moving hard to stay warm in zero weather,
I stop on a rise to catch my breath as the
setting sun—streaming through bare-boned
trees—falls upon my face, fierce and full of life.

Breathing easier now, in and out with the earth,
I suddenly feel accepted—feel myself stand
easy, strong, deep-rooted as the trees,
while time and all these troubles disappear.

And when (who knows how long?) I trudge
on down the trail and find my ancient burdens
returning, I stop once more to say No to them—
not here, not now, not ever again—reclaiming
the welcome home the woods have given me.
Parker J. Palmer (original post The Gift of “Welcome Home”)

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