If You Want to Walk with Me (poetry for the road ahead)

Something happened this morning, shortly after I published my earlier post, that made me realize certain things. After all, something BIG happening after you write about signs and discernment is probably a sign in itself as well.

So while I will not disclose further details about that incident, I will share something that I dedicate to anyone–and I mean anyone– who wants to walk alongside me on my path, be they family or friend, beloved or bystander.

Photo by Andrew Geiger, for Getty Images
Photo by Andrew Geiger, for Getty Images

IF YOU WANT TO WALK WITH ME


If you want to walk with me
You must first know how to stand.
Straight up, with your spine
Erect,
And your head facing
Toward the horizon.

I do not walk with my head turned
To the road we had just crossed.

If you want to walk with me
You must know how to carry yourself
On your own two feet.
You must know when
The burden you are carrying
Is too heavy already
And needs to be
Left behind—
Or when your load is
Too light
And you’ll need to pick up
Someone else’s.

I’ve learned that
A while back
And I have no time to teach you that
Now.

If you want to walk with me
You must know how to value
Silence—
To know that, sometimes,
All you really need to hear
Is the crackling of leaves
Under your feet,
Or the murmurs of the wind
Behind your ear,
Or the pounding of your heart
In your own chest,
Or the whispers of your soul
In your own heart.

I do not want distractions—
Sometimes—
Not even the sound of your voice.

If you want to walk with me
You must know
That the forest will not
Change for you.
There will be wild beasts
And barren trees
And cold winds
And—sometimes—nothing much
To see, or eat.
But that is the way of the forest
And we are merely passers-by.
We must know how to survive.

If you want to walk with me
You must understand
That I have carved out my path
Long before inviting you.
I know where I’m going
And who I am—the one
Taking this journey.
I know where I want to go,
So even if I take some detours
Along the way—
It’s all part of the plan.

You must know your own path,
As I will not give you mine.

If you want to walk with me
You must realize
That we start out alone
And we end up alone.
Our paths will meet
And we will walk together—
Sometimes briefly,
Other times,
For what seems like
Eternity.
But our paths are ours and
Ours alone.
So if you want to walk with me
You must know
That someday,
At some point,
We’ll have to head off
On our own
And say farewell.

~ NTZ

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