Those of us who live close to the land are graced with many blessings. Moments like the one captured in the photo below are an example – an October sunrise from the ridge where we live.

Many gifts of the earth are essential to our survival – the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we consume. The aesthetic beauty of the earth expands our hearts; the sense of place grounds our spirits.

A poem by David Wagoner from the anthology Life Prayers offers another grace note of bounty from the earth. Have you ever been turned around in the woods, maybe even lost for a moment? Ever been turned around a bit in your life, having lost your direction? Perhaps you are facing such a time today.

For most of us finding our way (again) begins with being fully present to the moment and its messengers, “to know it and be known.”

Stand still. The trees ahead and the bushes beside you are not lost. Where ever you are is called HERE. And you must treat it as a powerful stranger. Must ask permission to know it and be known.

The forest breathes. Listen. It answers, I have made this place around you. If you leave it, you may come back again, saying, HERE. No two trees are the same to Raven. No two branches are the same to wren.

If what tree or bush does is lost on you, you are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows where you are. You must let it find you.

October Sunrise on the Ridge (2015) IMG_0306