Parker Palmer writes: “Ever been lost in the wilderness — or in the wilds of your own life? Me too! Because I get outwardly and inwardly lost from time to time, this poem by David Wagoner means a great deal to me.
A couple of years ago, I got lost hiking alone on a poorly marked mountain trail at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico, where I was on a ten-day silent, solitary retreat. It was starting to get dark; I panicked and began to run. Just the right thing to do when you have no idea where you're going, don't you think!
Then I remembered the wisdom in this poem, stood still, and listened. I could not tell you what I was listening to, except that it was something both in me and around me. After five minutes or so, as my fear subsided, that something told me to turn around and walk slowly back up the mountain, looking to the left as I climbed. That's how I found the trail I'd missed in my fearful run down…”
You’ll find the David Wagoner poem here, along with the rest of Palmer’s short reflection to accompany the poem. The poem is a delight.
(Image by Bohari)