Someone has died.

It’s a quiet notion that fully forms

in my heart

as I sort through my possessions

toward the end of this moving day.


That kayak and helmet,

climbing harness and chalk bag,

those photos of a sun-parched woman

wide-eyed and eager,

are now leaving my life.


Age and wisdom have melted her away.


Ruthless in her ambitions

always driving toward the next goal

that endless highway where some new town

waited to be explored

only to lose its sparkle.


Then on to the next one.

And after that,

a whole new continent

spread out before her

and yet another.


Fiercely independent

insisting on doing all alone

she stood tall,

denied sick days

and always showed up.


Only alone, in the night

would the demons

crawl down the chimney

and whisper in her ear,

“Do more, try harder…”


Then she had little defense.


But this day, as dusk turns the world rosy pink

I close up the boxes and trash bags,

lock the doors of this house

that was a both refuge and nemesis

for that relentless woman.


A new door has opened…


Inside, the Beloved shows me

the way of Love—kindness to self and others.

It’s a cushy-couch place

where one nestles in, content to know

that all is right here, right now.


No seeking necessary

in this refuge of winter-squash soup,

warm baths, deep rest

and long hugs

with friends and lover.


And suddenly within the blazing sunset

I see…the one who I thought had died

still thrives inside me.

Full of bravery and determination

she now paddles the rapids

of the subtle realms.

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