Go gently today, don’t hurry
or think about the next thing. Walk
with the quiet trees, can you believe
how brave they are—how kind? Model your life
after theirs. Blow kisses
at yourself in the mirror
you think you’ve messed up. Forgive
yourself for not meeting your unreasonable
expectations. You are human, not
God—don’t be so arrogant.
Praise fresh air
clean water, good dogs. Spin
something from joy. Open
a window, even if
it’s cold outside. Sit. Close
your eyes. Breathe. Allow
of it all to pulse
fingertips, bare toes. Breathe in
breathe out. Breathe until
your bigness, until the sun
rises in your veins. Breathe
until you stop needing
to be different.
How could I resist the offer of a cure for it all, even without knowing exactly what that ‘all’ is? And it will be different for each of us as we come to this poem, and different depending upon the moment. Yet Fehrenbacher’s advice, if you will, is uncomplicated, invitational. She starts with an unhurried walking with trees, can you believe / how brave they are – how kind? We could do worse than to model ourselves after the sturdy, patient trees that give us so much breath and beauty.
She asks us to Forgive / yourself for not meeting your unreasonable / expectations. Do you ever expect more of yourself than is reasonable? (rhetorical question) There are so many things we can praise that we take for granted daily. Spin / something from joy, anything really. Breathe, allowing the river / of it all to pulse / through eyelashes / fingertips, bare toes. Be still, pay attention in that way we seldom allow ourselves as we think about the next thing to do.
Finally, she invites us to Breathe / until you feel / your bigness, your oneness with it all. Most of all, Breathe / until you stop needing / anything / to be different. Because when we stop wanting things to be other than what they are in the moment, we can rest and be just as we are. There is no greater cure.