Meeting the Muse after Midlife is out now on Amazon or at your bookshop! 

To practice receiving

A dear friend living in the shadows of cancer,

With death on the horizon,

Sat with me and said,

“Throughout my life, I never learned to receive…

Now I may have to.”

My mother spent her final two years on her back

In hospice care.

It was almost as if,

After a life of doing and giving,

Her soul needed to receive.

Receive, allow, hold space while others do—

These were not words I learned in business school.

Action was always preferable: make, do, or give.

But action unchecked,

Or tainted with the harshness

Of an ego that doesn’t care,

Slides into attack, consume, and take.

No one taught

Of honoring the sacred balance

Between giving and receiving

Embracing the world and letting it flow through me.

Of taking time to savor beauty,

Walk without purpose

Drop into awe for a sunset so beautiful

If we truly received the Earth

In the depths of our beings

How could we harm her?

We would tend her like a child

Hold her in our bellies

Nurture her to grow.

We would be like a partner following her movements

As she follows ours.

Today, I contemplate fund-raising

What still is needed to bring out the book

My stomach roils.

Writing for hours, days, years

Is what I do.

But asking and then receiving

Is light years harder.

Perhaps if I can do this

I will learn the lesson

Practice intention without entitlement.

Not be a taker, requiring support.

But more of a mom, a caretaker

Who can hear what asks to be born.

It will challenge, of course.

But, I don’t want to wait,

like my dear friend nearing the end,

To let others give

And absorb their kindness.

To ask. And hope.

And allow.

And then, with heart open and grateful,

To receive.

One Response

  1. Sally, you have reached a point where your words flow into poetry. I will save this poem and share it with dear friends who come to my Ontology Book Club. We are reading the book, Self Observation by Red Hawk. He is a poet too. In fact, I will send him your poem! It is beautiful!

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