This evening, I found the poem below by David Whyte, in Terri Windling‘s blog, Myth and Moor, hidden in her lovely photographs of where she lives in Devon, near Chagford. (Mouse over the photographs in her blog post and you will find it, too.) As you can see from this and her other photographs, Devon is deep in the throes of spring and lies under sunny skies. Terri has the wonderful opportunity to walk through this magical landscape at will, accompanied always by her black Labrador dog, Tilly.
She suggests perhaps I should be out walking through my own magical landscape, finding my place in it, and picking up where I left off. I am gently reminded not to look back at what has been left behind, but to look ahead and around at what I still have left. I said the same to my mother at supper Thursday, how my camera and I need to go on “expotitions” to the magical places in my own world. I know they are there, where they have been all along, waiting for me to rediscover them again. And now I have a silver cloud and new shoes to take me there.
Be infinitessimal under that sky, a creature
even the sailing hawk misses, a wraith
among the rocks where the mist parts slowly.
Recall the way mere mortals are overwhelmed
by circumstance, how great reputations
dissolve with infirmity and how you,
in particular, live a hairsbreadth from losing
everyone you hold dear.
Then, look back down the path as if seeing
your past and then south over the hazy blue
coast as if present to a wide future.
Remember the way you are all possibilities
you can see and how you live best
as an appreciator of horizons,
whether you reach them or not.
Admit that once you have got up
from your chair and opened the door,
once you have walked out into the clean air
toward that edge and taken the path up high
beyond the ordinary, you have become
the privileged and the pilgrim,
the one who will tell the story
and the one, coming back
from the mountain,
who helped to make it.