HUG Corner: Thought for the Week - 8/13

Location : North Houston

Healing After Loss (Martha Whitmore Hickman)

Snail, snail, glister me forward,
Bird, soft-sigh me home,
Warm, be with me.
This is my hard time.

-Theodore Roethke

Sometimes when we are sad, we have no interest in large-scale cosmic issues or in sweeping panoramas. Our affinities are with the small and intimate - the birds that flit through the trees, the snails and worms that live and work in the ground.

I don't know why these small creatures are a comfort to us, but they are. Perhaps it is their vulnerability, that they exist amidst the threats from larger elements - the vagaries of wind and water, the stomp of a foot or a shovel. We know what it's like to feel small and struggle, and so do they. If they can go forth with resoluteness in the face of such odds against their survival - well, maybe we can too. 

For whatever reason, these lines from Roethke stuck with me through the darkest hours of my own loss, and even now I welcome the creatures - snail, bird, worm - as cohorts in the ongoing struggle and joy of life.

We are creatures, and we need one another.

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