A few years ago I wrote a story inspired by John Haines titled “A Walk in the Woods With John Haines”.  As his words and thoughts continue to provide guidance over the years, I return to this piece and update the images and feelings to reflect the experiences that have defined me.

Returning to the fields
where it all started
so many years ago.

It was here I decided
which path I would take
and to never look back,

even when the sun falls
and the fields are obscured
with shadows and mist.

I imagine one his photographs might look like this:

 

 

That crossroad we come to
in moments of stress and blocks,
the struggle choking rational thoughts,
the behavior, the actions – this is not me.

How did this happen?
How did I get here?

Change is subtle and patient.
One day we vow to find balance,
to live and act a certain way,
to be, most importantly, better than
our-self yesterday.

Then time takes over,
and one winter morning, awake before the alarm,
thoughts are consumed with the upcoming day,
week, and months, items and events beyond
control, but consuming, pushing
away everything that is important, that matters.

Closing eyes tight, breathing, trying to push
this away and overcome the thoughts, but it has wrapped cold bony
fingers around the mind and wont let go.

I am losing sight of the path,
I am losing focus of the empty fields.

Each day folds into another as the weeks
and months pass with little notice
and soon another year rises beyond the horizon
and I am forced to confront where I am in this life
and if this is where I want to be, is this the path
I started down before?

How do I break from this cycle?
How do I wrestle back control and stake claim
to the life I am meant to live?

Snow begins to cover the empty field
as the trees hold up the graying sky.

I want to bury my head into
the snow and mud,

I want to find a way into
the earth,

while I do not understand where
this world is going and the heavy thoughts,

and when I lift my head
I am living in a cartoon

where the scenesare surreal
and at the end we can erase

our actions and past
and start over.

When this life’s pace and chaos
become too much I know where I can turn.

I return to my roots,
I return to the empty fields.

Here is a clean slate waiting
for the mind to create.

They offer possibilities,
an endless space to chase and capture dreams.

This is where the mind can exist
without limitations or boundaries.

This is home.

The pine tree lined path
covered with early season snow
beckons for me to follow
and with eyes closed.