“The Path” – Ramblings Of A Young Girl In Love

When I fell madly for my husband in 1997, I had one of those moments when inspiration cocks the proverbial gun, and a creative force shoots out from your center. Have you ever had that? Time freezes and you awake to hear yourself saying “What the hell just happened?” You look down to see a glorious sketch, a truly inspired recipe or a perfect work of fiction. I know many of the famous songwriters and painters say their greatest works were created in minutes and during the process, they felt like they were outside their body.

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“The Path” is not a “greatest work” but it was the closest I’ve sidled to spontaneous art. It might be terrible; it might be great. I don’t know. What I do know is I still remember, almost 20 years later, being bewildered that a poem, of sorts, emerged from me! Ha!

That is what being a young idiot in love will do for you! I hope you enjoy.

 “THE PATH”

The path we traveled was rust colored. A few stray pebbles were scattered

along the springy floor. The air felt crisp on our faces.

From behind, the sun kissed our backs.

When we started on the trail, the trees were sparse and young.

As we have walked, they have become rich and mature and now

the emerald green firs tower overhead creating a tunnel of blue sky.

 

On our path, there have been times when I walked ahead of you,

and times during which you walked ahead of me.

The leader realized the experience was less about who got there first

and more about the shared experience.

Inevitably we would fall back in line together.

 

At times, there was a wall that would cover the path and disappear

deep into the forest on either side. There was no way beyond it.

It was comprised of gray stones fit together like a complicated puzzle.

There were no holes or flaws through which to see.

We would lean our backs against the wall, defeated,

looking back in the direction we had come.

Suddenly a brick in the wall would shift and then another.

We would turn around to find the wall tumbling down,

leaving a clear perspective.

An obstacle so seemingly insurmountable

and yet every time we made our way through.

 

There were also times when I wanted to step off the beaten trail,

maybe a brambled passage that looked as though

it had not been travelled in a long time.

Or a spot that allowed rivulets of light to permeate through

the dense brush sparking my curiosity to see where it led.

You would see my eagerness.

You always charged ahead to clear a path.

 

Once along our way you stopped and looked skyward

at a tree that was unfamiliar to me.

I didn’t recognize the branches, the bark or the needle-like leaves.

You would start to climb, and I would stand back

not comprehending your motivation.

But, eventually, I would lean in stabilizing and watching

your assent, supporting you.

Later, when you had landed safely in front of me,

there was a flicker of gratitude in your smile.

 

Often we moved along with purpose; occasionally we would meander,

other times we would rest on our backs, arms barely touching,

eyes closed inhaling the sun.

 

At one point we came upon a lake. Its expanse melted into the blue horizon.

You were hesitant and thoughtful about venturing in

and I had already disappeared under the kind waves.

You followed.

We swam without needing to surface. I could see you clearly through

the undulating bands of seaweed. We played like seals and swam between rocks

and through underwater caves. I was touched by the smoothness

of the water across my skin and watching you, watching me.

I was joyful.

 

There were moments of darkness. It often seemed time to part.

But we would see the darkness was simply the shade

of an overhanging branch.

You would take my hand, and pull me into the light.

 

A few times along the path there was a split in the trail,

both trails evenly worn. Sometimes we chose together

and often we picked our own way,

knowing we would meet up again and share our experience.

 

This has been a walk with neither a distinct beginning nor end.

This path was not just a passageway to a set destination.

This path was about the experience of treading along it together.

 

The trees grow taller now.

But still, through the tunnel of sunlight near their encroaching tips

the path is perfectly lit. A little further perhaps?

~Heather Denniston

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What do you do to nurture creativity in your life? I would love to read your ideas in the comments section below.

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A friend recently gave me a colouring book for Christmas. (Adult colouring books are all the rage in case you didn’t get the memo!)  I tried it, and I enjoyed it! It doesn’t take much to have a few creative moments in your day. Creativity is so important for brain function! I challenge you to find one thing this week that you can do that you would consider creative. Knit, paint, draw, write, cook, sing… Being creative can look different to everyone. 

33 Responses

  1. This poem is beautiful – I especially like the invitation at the end. “a little further, perhaps?” makes me thankful for my journey with my husband.

  2. So beautiful and tender. Thank you so much for sharing your words from the heart with us and for allowing yourself to be vulnerable in doing so! I’m a big believer in vulnerability = strength 🙂 The last line is my favorite as well.

    1. Thank you Marlynn. Your words are super meaningful. I think you are right. Vulnerability makes us deeper and stronger. Thank you!

  3. A beautiful tribute to your special journey together! We are so lucky to get to walk side-by-side with someone we love – a partner in life, through difficult times and of course, through delightful journeys.

    I’m in a creative funk, but in the spring and summer, I just about live in the garden. Keep writing. You’ve got talent.

    1. Tara, you beautiful person. That encouragement came at a great time. Thank you so much for visiting and enjoy your garden—-spring will be here soon!

  4. You are an incredible writer! True love does have a way of opening up a hidden pathway in our hearts and minds that lead to pure magic. I create best on the days that I’m the happiest. Joy just spills out and forms something wonderful. 🙂

  5. SO lovely and tender. Thank you sharing something so personal. Beautiful! I love to paint as my creative expression but I also like to sketch, sculpt and piece quilts. 🙂

  6. Such a great share! I think its great – because its such a significant moment in your life and it has your distinctive voice and thoughts. Great image choices too and as far as creativity – mostly my blog images/photography/graphic design with my paper works. And getting my little ones engaged too – creativity is the light of my life. I couldn’t go on without it.

    1. Thank you, Shannon. I appreciate the feedback. I guess I hadn’t really considered myself creative in that way.:-) Now, maybe I do! 😉

  7. This is GREAT. It makes me want to say, “Heather Denniston, I see you!” Something new is visible. Awesome. 🙂

      1. I have been thinking about you quite a bit lately. Do you think coffee could be in our future? Life is too busy, but would love to connect soon-ish! Love your poem… it’s a different rhythm and brings a lovely glow to your work. 🙂

  8. Heather, this truly is a beautiful, spiritual, and haunting poem.

    I remember the first time I met you, I could see and feel your spirit. Anyone that meets you would sense the emotional journey that started years ago with that girl in love, and as the seasons change your deep rooted beliefs and your undying love for your husband grows stronger. I have written many poems to my husband, and I agree, it does expose our hearts, souls, and minds, and lets the world see the beauty inside. Thank you for sharing your heart with the rest of us. I am sure that God has many miles for you to travel, lives to change, and people to inspire.

    I received an adult coloring book as well. It not only takes away the stress of the day, but makes me a want to be artist.

    I pray that by posting your private thoughts to the man you love, it will encourage the rest of us to appreciate the ones that helped create our path.

    I miss you and your God given gift of healing. By the way; I am seeing the new Dr’s at LTW for the first time. I will keep you posted.

    Good health and love to you and yours.
    Shari

    1. Shari….I knew you must have been a writer. You are so gifted with your words. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and support me in such a dramatic way. I definitely miss you too, girl. I hope you are on the path to finding exceptional health. I think of you often. xoxo

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Dr. Denniston is a wellness strategist for elite leaders and their teams, bridging the connection between personal well-being and professional success. She provides custom solutions for burnout and stress and facilitates cohesive habit-training strategies that maximize vitality, productivity, and resilience.

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