It Happens to Those Who Live Alone

~ David Whyte

It happens to those
who live alone
that they feel sure
of visitors
when no one else
is there.
until the one day
and the one particular
working in the
quiet garden,
when they realize
at once
that all along
they have been
an invitation
to everything
and every kind of trouble
and that life
happens by
to those who
like the bees
the tall mallow
on their legs of gold,
or the wasps
going from door to door
in the tall forest
of the daisies.
I have my freedom
because nothing
really happened
and nobody came
to see me,
only the slow
growing of the garden
in the summer heat
and the silence of that
unborn life
making itself
known at my desk,
my hands
with the crumbling
as I write
and watch
the first lines
of a new poem
like flowers
of scarlet fire
coming to fullness
in a clear light.

I once heard Janet Kane say that people with their Sun in Pisces should live alone. I know that I’ve found great joy in living alone, although, as David Whyte says, those of us who live alone are never really alone. We’re just, I think, a bit less distracted from all of the other presences that cram the world with being. I love the idea of “being an invitation to everything.”

I think this poem has implications beyond simply living alone and also touches on the many, many Pagans who have a solitary practice. Do you agree?

Picture found here.


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