An original poem by Traci Newkirk
Into the woods I walked, the call of silence I sought,
A group of friends with me I brought.
Together we wandered along the path,
Yearning for answers about wholeness we were taught.
Beneath the canopy’s gentle sway,
Our footprints painted a path astray,
From the world and all its noise,
We sought to hear the Savior’s voice.
One person was courageous enough to share first,
Fearful of how she might be perceived made her blush,
Familiar with the feelings she expressed,
Others chimed in with voices of respect.
I went next, careful with my words as I processed,
Nervous to hear how the thoughts would land.
Remembering how others have responded in the past,
I was relieved to feel comfort and presence at last.
As we ventured deeper into the emerald realm,
Another woman felt open and not overwhelmed.
She shared hurts from her marriage, hurts from her past,
Her neighbor was able to attune at last.
As the sun dipped below the trees,
We continued to process and talk as we needed.
Another woman shared about her daughter’s bad decisions,
Her friend was able to identify and make her not feel so hidden.
In the depths of the woods, where darkness resides,
Our friendship illuminated the shadows we hide.
With unyielding hearts and spirits so bright,
We banished the thoughts that we are alone in this life.
Advice was not needed, and help wasn’t helpful,
Presence is what we each sought in the woods, but we were careful.
We women just wanted to feel understood, heard and sought.
Not crazy because we needed time to process our thoughts.
The Holy Spirit knows our stories and was present with us.
He is the real teacher, the healer, the friend like no other,
But our feelings are too big and loud at times,
To hear that small voice in our head that reminds.
Each year the spiritually thoughtful take to the woods,
Where we wrestle and process and unload all the “shoulds”.
We leave with encouragement, forgiveness, validation,
celebration, identification, clarification, and elation.
So, let this poem remind us, with wanderlust in our eyes,
To cherish companionship that forever ties,
Like those friends who venture, hand in hand,
Into the woods, a beautiful hard adventure in front of them stood.