The Way It Is – Lyn Unger

One morning you might wake up
to realize that the knot in your stomach
had loosened itself and slipped away,
and that the pit of unfulfilled longing in your heart
had gradually, and without your really noticing,
been filled in—patched like a pothole, not quite
the same as it was, but good enough.

And in that moment it might occur to you
that your life, though not the way
you planned it, and maybe not even entirely
the way you wanted it, is nonetheless—
persistently, abundantly, miraculously—
exactly the way it is.


This poem has been reaching out and nudging me since I first encountered it in Poetry of Presence, a gorgeous collection of poems of mindfulness.

Who has not experienced the knot in your stomach, the unfulfilled longing in your heart and then noticed with grateful surprise when those feelings have disappeared, like a pain that has mysteriously stopped. The image of patched like a pothole, not quite / the same as it was, but good enough makes me smile each time. Good enough is such an important and undervalued concept.

And then there is the possibility of realizing that your life is just how it is regardless of how you thought you wanted it to be. That it is persistently, abundantly, miraculously just as it is, perhaps even just as it is meant to be.

On this solstice day, as the light begins to return, as we come to the close of this year, I wish for you to experience the persistent, abundant, miraculousness of your life, exactly the way it is.

The Way it is