By Catherine Garland
I have learned
that fences are for climbing to see
if the grass really is greener on the other side;
and that if I leave the house at night,
and stretch high on the top of my tiptoes
I might touch the quivering stars,
play with the bright young moon.
I have learned that a mind is like the universe,
an immensity of twinkling lights and
far-flung galaxies to be explored.
I have learned that the world beyond
the fence is full of human beings as diverse as the stars,
each waiting to be recognized and named
and loved by me. I have learned
that life is for loving and love is for living
and dying is for letting go.
I have learned that opposites
are inextricably linked,
that within all pain are tiny buds of beauty
and within all beauty seeds of pain;
that the sun disappears only to return
the following morning,
and that clouds are not solid;
that tears are for falling
and laughter is for taking wing;
that forgiveness is the better part of valor,
sweeter far than blame.
I have learned how
the sound of a full orchestra
can break me wide open;
that a piano’s single notes
played against adagio strings
are like raindrops of silver
falling on crushed velvet;
and that a violin concerto
can stretch me thin
and leave me full.
I have learned that
everything has its own language and that
if I listen carefully to the birds and the creatures,
and even the grasses,
I will hear the sound of God
in the music of the silence.
There are multiple realities surrounding me
and I know that I must keep the eyes of my heart open
to allow all of existence to be.
And I’m glad I was not told
any of these things
else I would not have grown as tall
nor stretched as far.
I am glad these things were kept hidden from me
until I could open the gate to taste and touch,
to smell and feel, and
to discover my self along the way.
All rights reserved.
Posted with kind permission of the poet.
I will praise my failures. I will praise What I have not accomplished and do…
—misheard line from a poem by Fernando Pessoa Be a blue whale with a heart…
The trees bend down along the stream, Where anchored swings my tiny boat. The day…
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