Oh, be still my racing mind. Lately it's been so hard to slow it, shush it and keep it in the present. Especially this morning -- I've been gearing up for it for a weeks now -- the first day of Spring. I'm already thinking about all I want to do, do, do: finish cleaning up the dregs of winter on the balcony, make a quick to the garden centre for seedling mix and seeds, add fresh vermicompost to the soil, prepare containers for seedlings, sow seeds, re-line the hanging baskets with fresh coconut fibre, take photos of emerging bulbs....The list grows fast like a bad weed.

But if I don't make time and effort to be still, I will be lost. I know this. I've known this for a while.

This poem came to me in a weekly email yesterday -- just what I needed. First "gardening" task of the day: plant this in my heart.

Standing Still


Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever 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 a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.

- David Wagoner

From the book "Traveling Light: Collected and New Poems"
published by the University of Illinois Press in 1999.