05/07/2013 01:19 pm ET Updated Jul 07, 2013

The Hard Human Spring

Sitting on a bench in Central Park in New York City, I was watching an ancient oak whose roots were woven into massive stones. It wasn't long till I began to reflect on how those stones let the roots in and how the roots found their way into all that stone. It wasn't long before this poem about our very human journey of roots and stones appeared.

The Hard Human Spring

We are each born with a gift hidden in
a wound, and many years to birth it, each
given a heat to carry and rough seas to calm
it, each seeded with a worthiness, and love after
love through which to accept it, each called to
enter sorrow like an underwater cave, with the
breathless chance to break surface in the same
world with everything aglow. If we make it this
far, we can, on any given day, marvel that clouds
are clouds, and name ourselves. We can use the
gift born of our wound to find an unmarked spot
from which to live. If we settle there, giving our
all without giving ourselves away, the heart
within our heart will flower and the whole
world will eat of its nectar.

A Question to Walk With: Tell the story of your gift and the wound it's been hiding in, growing in? Given this, what is the one thing your heart needs from the world to open completely? And what is the one thing your opened heart can give to the world?

For more by Mark Nepo, click here.

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