You can learn to keep yourself company,
but only by keeping yourself company —
Do you ask “how are you?” and listen
like a deer deciphering a rustling in the leaves?
Do you say “take a walk with me, and let me show you the woods?”
Do you sing yourself a song?
Now you are the one: the one to care for all the whispers inside
the one to listen to all the children,
to take them to see beautiful places and new sights.
That’s you: the woman leading the field trip,
the woman making hot chocolate for all of them,
the woman saying, “now, now, that’s enough.”
If you feel like an incomplete circle, or a wilted form
go home to silence and listen to yourself.
Give your words a hearing.
Shine each pebble and dagger to the light.
Meet each with lilac compassion.
Then feel: as your own sweet song
overtakes your life and blazes
so loud you need an earth
this listening to hold it.
Contentment springs up,
again and again, from the well
where you least expected to discover it.
– Tara Mohr
photo credit: Stephen Leonardi