Into The Woods - Poem by Suzanne Hayasaki
I walked into the woods
To walk away from the world.
I stopped my car on the highway
And stepped into the wilderness.
I wanted to shed my civilized skin.
Just for an hour or two
On a warm afternoon
And be alone with my wandering thoughts.
With each step I took, the debates faded.
With each breath I took, my frustration gave way.
Little by little, I let go of the details I let entangle me
And allowed myself to focus on the whole.
I straightened my back and lengthened my stride.
I let my heartbeat set the rhythm for my meditation.
I let my arms swing and my feet crunch in the dust.
I smelled the scents rising from the soil and remembered home.
There was one path, unbending, unbroken.
No need to stop and consider.
No preferable destination.
All around me the insects buzzed
The birds chattered, the frogs churruped.
Somewhere unseen water trickled
Over round stones in a shallow stream.
I came to an ancient tree
Reaching out with gnarled arms
As if inviting my presence
And I approached it with reverence.
I sat at its base, folded legs, bowed head
And opened myself to its message.
'Sit with me sister.
Feel the earth that feeds me.
Feel the roots beneath me.
Sense the network that connects us.'
I felt my stable weight.
I felt my balanced mind.
I reached deep inside
For the part of me
That was one with this tree.
There in the shade
On that warm spring day
For unmeasured time
I let go of the burden of being
Of needing to know
Of demanding answers
And regained something deeper
Something as fleeting as peace.
As the sun sank and the light faded
I awakened with a sense of self
Renewed in its dedication to empathy
But relieved of the burden to judge.
Reminded of my insignificance
I rejoiced in my oneness with love.
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