Imagine yourself on a forest path you have traveled more times than you can count on both your hands and feet. You feel a certainty in your bones like the comfort of knowing you could pick up a conversation with an old friend after a year or two of absence; you could go down any of the offshoots of this path and be able to return again without trouble.
Then all of a sudden, your attention is drawn to the fact that you know nothing of the types of trees that surround you on this path, or of the history and the people that first walked this path, or even of the circumstances that made it possible for you to walk this path. You reel, an imbalance akin to the childhood memory of when you went to latch on to your mother's legs in the grocery store and found yourself looking into the face of a look-alike stranger instead.
In the midst of your newfound uncertainty, a soft voice covers your frantically pacing heart with the hand-knitted wool blanket of a poem that is "Lost" by David Wagoner.
Welcome to my life.
by David Wagoner
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 two 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.
-- David Wagoner
Thank you, Bobbi Patterson.