It is clear to me that throughout my life I have both been guided and I have guided others. No matter how old I get this doesn’t seem to change. I do sense that I’m on the guiding end more these days than I was when I was younger, and the more I embrace the mystery and beauty and struggles of my life, the more I recognize the abundance of guides.
My guides find me in unexpected places; like the way a leaf rests on my truck windshield after a rain, or the way a child runs to her dad as I walk by the playground. I hear the guides speak to me in a deep question that begs not to be answered but held and considered.
I hear the patient guidance of the daffodils as they wait and wait and wait in the cold dark ground for their journey to the light to offer themselves humbly, whether anyone or anything stops to notice; a helpful reminder that simple stunning beauty takes time and is worth waiting for.
I’m grateful for the imagery in this poem; the reward of heightened awareness that guides me to have “eyes to see” that will know where to look for the good parts - the ever-present offerings that arrive daily for each of us.
Field Guide by Tony Hoagland
Once, in the cool blue middle of a lake,
up to my neck in that most precious dement of all,
I found a pale-gray, curled-upwards pigeon feather
floating on the tension of the water
at the very instant when a dragonfly,
like a blue-green iridescent bobby pin,
hovered over it, then lit, and rested.
I mention this in the same way
that I fold the corner of a page
in certain library books,
so that the next reader will know
where to look for the good parts.
"Field Guide" by Tony Hoagland from
Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty.
© Graywolf Press, 2010.