Pinecones: Close In

Revisiting one of my favorite poems. . .

Start Close In
By David Whyte

Start close in
don’t take the second step
or the third,
start with the first
thing
close in,
the step
you don’t want to take.

Start with
the ground
you know,
the pale ground
beneath your feet,
your own
way of starting
the conversation.

Start with your own
question,
give up on other
people’s questions,
don’t let them
smother something
simple.

To find
another’s voice,
follow
your own voice,
wait until
that voice
becomes a
private ear
listening
to another.

Start right now
take a small step
you can call your own
don’t follow
someone else’s
heroics, be humble
and focused,
start close in,
don’t mistake
that other
for your own.

Start close in,
don’t take
the second step
or the third
start with the first
thing
close in,
the step
you don’t want to take.

(David Whyte, River Flow: New & Selected Poems)

Habit

This month’s bundle on “Habit” from Wild + Free is a lovely one. It was a sweet thing to receive the print magazine in the mail yesterday, but I have to admit that I laughed at myself when I turned to this page. “Homeschooling with a Toddler” — I hope this person knows more than I do!

Petoskey Stones

We’ve been gathering petoskey stones for Gommy. A huge crop of these treasures was recently revealed on one of our favorite beaches. A petoskey stone is a fossil from an ancient coral called Hexagonaria percarinata. Years of water, wind, and waves shape each unique piece of fossil into a smooth stone treasure that looks almost polished when wet.

North Manitou Island

Our dear neighbor Mike took us on an adventure to North Manitou Island, and it felt like traveling to another world. The Island is so close (we look out at it every time we go to the beach) yet so far away (accessible only to overnight campers by ferry or by private boat). North Manitou is part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and therefore undeveloped except for what remains of a village from over 50 years ago. Visiting was like being transported back in time. And the rock hunting was amazing! We spent hours on the island and when we got back on the boat it felt like hardly any time had passed at all.

I returned home so rejuvenated in body and soul: so humbled and awed by vast Lake Michigan and this incredibly beautiful land.