I have learned
that fences are for climbing to see
if the grass really is greener on the other side;
and that if I leave the house at night,
and stretch high on the top of my tiptoes
I might touch the quivering stars,
play with the bright young moon.

I have learned that a mind is like the universe,
an immensity of twinkling lights and
far-flung galaxies to be explored.

I have learned that the world beyond
the fence is full of human beings as diverse as the stars,
each waiting to be recognized and named
and loved by me.  I have learned
that life is for loving and love is for living
and dying is for letting go.

I have learned that opposites
are inextricably linked,
that within all pain are tiny buds of beauty
and within all beauty seeds of pain;
that the sun disappears only to return
the following morning,
and that clouds are not solid;
that tears are for falling
and laughter is for taking wing;
that forgiveness is the better part of valor,
sweeter far than blame.

I have learned how
the sound of a full orchestra
can break me wide open;
that a piano’s single notes
played against adagio strings
are like raindrops of silver
falling on crushed velvet;
and that a violin concerto
can stretch me thin
and leave me full.

I have learned that
everything has its own language and that
if I listen carefully to the birds and the creatures,
and even the grasses,
I will hear the sound of God
in the music of the silence.
There are multiple realities surrounding me
and I know that I must keep the eyes of my heart open
to allow all of existence to be.

And I’m glad I was not told
any of these things
else I would not have grown as tall
nor stretched as far.
I am glad these things were kept hidden from me
until I could open the gate to taste and touch,
to smell and feel, and
to discover my self along the way.

All rights reserved.
Posted with kind permission of the poet.

Photo by Cornelia Gatz