Day 5: I am grateful for the wisdom I have found in books.
I’ll never forget the magic of discovering the work of American poet, novelist, and memoirist, May Sarton. Her books are among the few collections I own in full. Years ago (long before computers), I was struck by the nonfiction work Journal of a Solitude, and the power of the following passage, which I copied onto paper in my own handwriting:
I think of the trees and how simply they let go, let fall the riches of a season, how without grief (it seems) they can let go and go deep into their roots for renewal and sleep….Imitate the trees. Learn to lose in order to recover, and remember that nothing stays the same for long, not even pain, psychic pain. Sit it out. Let it all pass. Let it go.
These words have sustained me over many hardships. As I reach the age Sarton was when she wrote this wisdom, I am astounded by all the heartache one life can hold. I may briefly forget, but I know I must always remember to imitate the trees….Like the sweet gum that blooms in magnificent color, I too must shed the dead weight, shed both the burr-like fruit and the star-shaped leaves…then gather them together in the final letting go–a blanket of winter to come where I can hibernate in solitude, awaiting renewal and rebirth, where I may at once journal and reflect. For all of these things, I am grateful.
In your gratitude journal, answer these questions:
- When have you had to “imitate the trees”?
- How do you seek renewal?
- How do you seek sleep?
- What do you feel gratitude for today, on this fifth day of November 2015?
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