Words of WonderWhat to remember when waking - David Whyte

In that first
hardly noticed
in which you wake,
coming back
to this life
from the other
more secret,
and frighteningly
where everything
there is a small
into the new day
that closes
the moment
you begin your plans.
What you can plan
is too small
for you to live.
What you can live
will make plans
for the vitality
hidden in your sleep.
To become human
is to become visible
while carrying
what is hidden
as a gift to others.
To remember
the other world
in this world
is to live in your
true inheritance.
You are not
a troubled guest
on this earth,
you are not
an accident
amidst other accidents
you were invited
from another and greater
than the one
from which
you have just emerged.
Now, looking through
the slanting light
of the morning
window toward
the mountain
of everything
that can be,
what urgency
calls you to your
one love?
What shape waits
in the seed of you
to grow and spread
its branches
against a future sky?
Is it waiting
in the fertile sea?
In the trees
beyond the house?
In the life
you can imagine
for yourself?
In the open
and lovely
white page
on the waiting desk?

by David Whyte


Some weeks the search for a poem to share can be a very long one, when nothing my eyes fall on quite feels right. I was about to settle for one which felt ok in a general sort of way, when in a moment of Facebook distraction I was reminded of this one –  very recently re-posted by its author David Whyte after he wrote it many years ago. In the post, he wrote a brief comment on it, ending with “…no matter that I actually wrote the piece, reciting it again is always a bracing and much needed reminder, and I hope very much, in that spirit, its the same for you.”

It certainly was, David, thank you.


PS. You can find this poem and a range of others in David Whyte: Essentials, a pocket size book full of gems…

Photo by Elle Hughes on Unsplash