“What do I do when I am lost in the forest?” In other words, “What do I do when I’ve lost my creative fire?” which is really “What do l do when I forget who I am?” American writer and poet, David Whyte
Our poem this week is all about respect and recognition of our place in the natural world.
David Whyte recalls a story from the Native American culture in the Northeast of the United States. A little girl asks a tribal elder about what to do if she gets lost in the forest.
Another David, provides the answer in modern parlance in Lost. The poem touches on the sensitivity and wonderful skills of trees, which are often not understood by people who pass them by.
Let the poem get you thinking and if you want more, delve into Peter Wohlleben’s The Hidden Life of Trees: What they Feel, How they Communicate. (Scroll down to May 18 for a review.)
Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.
David Wagoner (1999)