How to Love – A Poem

Sedum in a Garden ©2016 Bo Mackison

Sedum in a Garden ©2016 Bo Mackison

How To Love

Start. Sit at the kitchen table. Reach out.
Touch the sunlight slanting through the window with your finger tips.
Or sit on the porch swing. Listen to the breezes whistle through the garden grasses.

Look for the sweet spot. Its location may surprise you.

The flowers on the bleeding heart plant have wilted. The late tulips
have withered and dropped their petals; the foliage too has fallen to the earth.

There, emerging from the rock wall, the waxy sedum, gray-whiskered saxiphrage,
rose moss ‘midst the rocks, in earth pockets and shadow.
It is enough for sedum and saxiphrage and moss to thrive.

Realize. There is no destination. No path off yonder that leads to the promised land.
No path at all. No map.

The path is the footfall; the map is the hand grip on the walking stick.

Listen. A glossy blackbird perched on a fence post
trills caaa-ca-ree caaa-ca-ree.

Remember. The ancient courses through your bloodstream,
you inhale the exhaled breath of millions.
You drink water that has circumnavigated the world: it has risen, it has fallen, it is flowing still.

Become one with the air, one with the wind, one with the earth. You already are. Accept this.

Make a torch. What will you use for the stick, the rags, the fuel?
And once it is aflame, what will you see?

Will the stars pour milky trails into the sky to lead you onward?
Will the blackbirds invite you into the forest with their song?

Or will the torch blind you to your surroundings, restrict your vision to that which is already within reach?

Perhaps the choice is not one of leaving but of staying.

At the kitchen table. On the porch swing.
Between the rock garden and the hard place.

There is a bowl of blackberries, a book of poetry. The sunlight slants through the window.

And when night comes, you will see stars.


Inspired by the poem “How To Fall In Love” by Susan Elbe

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.

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