what can we leave behind?


Compassion is not a relationship

between the healer and the wounded.

It’s a relationship between equals.

Only when we know our own darkness well

can we be present with the darkness of others.

Compassion becomes real

when we recognize our shared humanity.

…..Pema Chodron

how does the night know it’s time to seek the light? how does our winter soul tend to its roots? how can we bear witness to our inner kindness?

Let the apple ripen
on the branch
beyond your need
to take it down.

Let the coolness
of autumn
and the breathing,
blowing wind
test its adherence
to endurance,
let the others fall.

Wait longer
than you would,
go against yourself,
find the pale nobility
of quiet that ripening
watch with patience
as the silhouette emerges
and the leaves fall;
see it become
a solitary roundness
against a greying sky,
let winter come
and the first
frost threaten,
and then wake
one morning
to see the breath
of winter
has haloed
its redness
with light.

So that a full
two months
after you
should have
taken the apple
you hold it in
your closed hand
at last and bite
into the cool
spread evenly
through every
single atom
of a pale
and yielding

So that you taste
on that cold,
grey day,
not only
the after reward
of a patience
not only
the summer
of a postponed

but the sweet
inward stillness
of the wait itself.

…..David Whyte

Nature looks dead in winter …
because her life is gathered into her heart.
She withers the plant down to the root that she may grow it up again fairer and stronger.
She calls her family together within her inmost home to prepare them for being scattered abroad upon the face of the earth.
……Hugh Macmillan

3 thoughts on “what can we leave behind?

  1. Lots of treasures in this post. Worth rereading and reflecting. Particularly like the concept/image of Hugh Macmillan’s poem, this speaks to me: “because her life is gathered into her heart.”

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