Such a cliche, maybe, but when I’m feeling lost, poems help me find my way. Often it’s the same ones that I go back to, reliable old friends that remind me what matters. Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Mary Oliver, Langston Hughes, e.e. cummings, Maya Angelou, Wendell Berry.
Sometimes I find new ones and they immediately become old friends. I know they’ll make the permanent rotation as soon as I read them. This is my new favorite:
It sums up my entire marriage. Matt and I, planners through and through, but so terrible at taking things slowly and deliberately when it comes right down to it.
When we hiked the Path of the Gods in Italy, I worried for probably the first forty-five minutes of the hike that we couldn’t do it. That it would be too hard, that the kids would get worn out or, worse, hurt. That Matt and I had made a terrible mistake.
And then, suddenly, we got to the top, and I realized that we already HAD done it. Walking up, while all that worrying was going on, we were doing exactly what I was worried we couldn’t do.
When we reached the ridgeline and I looked back and then I looked ahead, I saw that, even though we still had a few miles to walk, we’d done it. The hard part was behind us and the rest was just cake. I felt strong, I felt proud — so incredibly proud of my brave children and my husband who doesn’t question that we CAN — and I felt so grateful for every step of the adventure.
It all depends on the day, which one wins.