My good friend James A. Pearson wrote the following poem as the full weight of the pandemic came upon us. Even though we are now “coming out of it,” I think of how much we are still in the midst of it: the harsh and intense conversations around vaccination and epidemiology, the angst of stepping into packed bars, the “post-pandemic” economy, and – for me at least – the assumption that something similar will be coming again.
And so, James’ poem strikes me softly with a preciousness that grounds me in this moment – here in the midst of it.
Look how this wilderness
swept in around us –
while we slept,
while we paid the rent,
while we ordered another round.
By the time we looked up
all our paths were gone. The forest
presses in on all sides,
every direction an equal mystery
of tangle and dark.
Breathe down into
your wild body,
into its sudden alertness,
its burning need to keep you safe.
There are parts of you that know
how to stand still in this place,
parts of you that will know
which step to take.
Listen to a video version of this poem:
The Journey from Winter to Spring: An Evening with James A. Pearson
Life’s winters can be brutal. If you’ve experienced loss, heartbreak, or failure you know the longing for spring’s renewal to come.
But it doesn’t always come quickly, or easily.
James A. Pearson’s poetry looks at the seasons of life not just as circumstances you’re in, but also as capacities you have within yourself.
Part of you knows how to winter, he says. Just like the trees and the bears and the birds know.
On June 16th, James and I will co-host a free event looking at the hidden invitations of winter, the tender calling of spring, and the journey between the two.
Using poetry, journaling, and conversation you’ll be invited to reflect on the seasons of your own life. And to take the next courageous step that’s yours to take.