Be ahead of all parting, as though it already were behind you, like the winter that has just gone by. For among these winters there is one so endlessly winter that only by wintering through it will your heart survive.
Rainer Maria Rilke
We arrived at the crossroads while wandering in the woods, it was so perfectly aligned, so quietly asking for a decision…..right or left, no easy answer, no promise that one direction would lead towards a place less difficult to traverse.
The direction chosen did not matter and the timing of the arrival of no consequence. There was no invitation to linger, just a gentle request to lift one foot and hope the ground held as you lifted the other to propel yourself forward.
The ‘winter’ we are inhabiting promises to be ‘endlessly winter’ and those whose hearts survive will have shed something that cannot be named, leaving it behind like a snake’s skin. Whatever path we choose, most will lead to the base of the mountain.
The mountain is the true ‘wintering’, from it’s base all paths call you to that place “ahead of all parting” and ask that you arrive alone, trailing the substance of life in your wake “as though it already were behind you.”
“Time is an Ocean, present and eternal. We are adrift on that ocean of possibility, you and I , and the miracle is that we find each other at all. Maybe it’s age that keeps me scanning the horizon, looking for you, waving, bobbing in that sustaining current, because I want to hold eternal moments closer now. We move through time and space separately, and the mystery of our meeting is time’s gift to us. Swim with me now. We have no other chance.”
Richard Wagamese “Embers One Ojibway’s Meditations”