Leaving behind my journey of struggling and racing through
the white water of many rivers, I become the river,
creating my own unique way.
Leaving behind my self-imposed role as a tree upon
which others have leaned, I now become the wind,
with the freedom to blow whenever and wherever I choose.
Leaving behind the boxes I’ve created in my life, crammed with
roles, responsibilities, rules and fears,
I become the wild and unpredictable space
within which flowers sprout and grow.
Leaving behind the years of yearning for others
to see me as somebody,
I soften into becoming my future,
with permission from SELF to
continually unfold as I choose, without concern
for how others may see me.
Leaving behind years of telling and teaching,
I become instead a mirror
into which others can peer and
view reflections of themselves to consider.
Leaving behind the urge to provide answers for others,
I become — in the silence of this forest retreat
— the question.
Leaving behind the rigor of my intellect,
I become a single candle in the
darkness, offering myself as a beacon for others
to create their own path.
I become an elder.
Cathy Carmody died in 2017. She gave permission for others to share her poem as long as she is credited as author.