Seasons of Inner Growth
We accumulate years on this earth
Seeing seasons of sadness,
Seasons of mirth,
Seasons of dearth.
Knowing the verdancy of spring
We wait to begin each cycle,
We wait by the fire,
We wait, becoming tired.
Waiting placidly amidst the haste,
Being warm and comfortable,
Sheltered from the elements,
But skeltered into isolation.
Plants do not grow in winter,
The elements so harsh and cold.
Their roots in the ground deep,
Strong in sturdy function.
We should delve deep into our roots,
Into what we know of ourselves,
Search for memories of lessons learned,
And the faces that went with the lessons.
In this season of dearth,
Bears in the forests hibernate.
Plants freeze, or survive by seed,
But we live fully in awareness.
The power of the wind in the winter,
Thrusting frozen knives to the lungs,
Create an ache that only begins
To thaw by the fireside.
With a hearth's love and warmth,
We are no longer a sole soldier,
Relishing in companionship of home,
Shelter, and accumulated comforts.
In those times, dear Lord,
Give me a blanket, a book,
And a mind full of questions,
With the ability to comprehend.
With time, and self-discipline,
I can work to be more than I am,
I can know what it is for which I stand,
And seek the questions for spring rebirth.
. . . just because this one reminded me, here's the original . . .
Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Strive to be happy.
Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.