I am making a home inside myself. A shelter
of kindness where everything
is forgiven, everything allowed—a quiet patch
of sunlight to stretch out without hurry,
where all that has been banished
and buried is welcomed, spoken, listened to—released.
A fiercely friendly place I can claim as my very own.
I am throwing arms open
to the whole of myself—especially the fearful,
fault-finding, falling apart, unfinished parts, knowing
every seed and weed, every drop
of rain, has made the soil richer.
I will light a candle, pour a hot cup of tea, gather
around the warmth of my own blazing fire. I will howl
if I want to, knowing this flame can burn through
any perceived problem, any prescribed
any lying limitation, every heavy thing.
I am making a home inside myself
where grace blooms in grand and glorious
abundance, a shelter of kindness that grows
all the truest things.
I whisper hallelujah to the friendly
sky. Watch now as I burst into blossom.
This poem by the wonderful poet Julia Fehrenbacher was sent to me by a dear friend, and I read it for the first time on the Scottish beach in the above picture. Under that ‘friendly sky’, there was a perfect convergence of Julia’s words with my state of being, a deep recognition of the importance of that inner home.
It’s been a theme for a while in me, I noticed that I’ve been feeling particularly drawn to the guided practice invitation to ‘come home’ to the breath or the body, that sense of ‘being at home’ in the resting mind. I know it doesn’t work for everyone, but sensing that homecoming has been carrying a sense of relief and ease for me – which possibly shows I’ve been living with a bit more efforting than needed. And blossoming is much more likely from that place of ease! But often that is easier said than done, of course.
So that’s why I appreciate a poem like this to inspire my practice, which just opens the door to the possibility of homecoming and gently reminds me of the importance of it – but with full appreciation for the need to howl sometimes, and acceptance of those unfinished parts and challenges that so easily take center stage. I haven’t read the poems in Julia’s new poetry book called Staying in Love, but if the reviews are anything to go by, it’s full of gems like this one. In case some more being reminded and invited would be helpful!
PS if the words of poems like the ones on this blog open doors into being more mindful and compassionate for you too, you would probably love the ‘Mindfulness meets Mystical Poetry‘ course my wonderful colleague Fay offers…