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.
A note from Rulik
Lost by David Wagoner, was written as a response from a Native American Elder to his grandson, who asks: “Grandpa, what do I do when I get lost in the forest?”
We all get lost in the forest of life. The road ends abruptly, or we discover that what we thought was a trail, turned out to be a wild animal path.
We lose our sense of direction; we lose our sense of self.
Although the poem does not say that explicitly, I read the message that getting lost might have to do with the imaginary and grandiose sense of control. Control of nature, control over our destiny. One outcome of that illusion is the mad rushing, seeking and achieving; all leading to deep fear.
The poem says Stop! Look around and ask permission to be known.
Your world view is upside down and backwards. That is why you are lost. That is why you are so afraid. Stand still and look around!
Start with more humility and then some curiosity, use everything around you as a mirror that tells you where you are. Learn something from the animals.
When you do not know what you want, you surely cannot find the path home.