Elsewhere — a poem

A small pebbly cove with spruce trees along the shoreline. Photo my own.

“What are you running from?”
He asked.

No, not running.
Dreaming
Exploring
Doing

I want to be elsewhere.

Elsewhere has a starlit sky,
Cool air and soft, needle-laden trails
Waves lazily lapping, lulling,
The fresh smell of spruce and ferns,
Loons and harbor seals fishing for supper.

Elsewhere is nearly atop the world
A tight air with an unfamiliar conifer scent
Scorched and scarred by God and time
Silent, remote, valleys far below
Ancient trees, teaching their wisdom

Elsewhere has green, familiar foliage,
A soft and smiling face,
There’s timeless laughter revisited
Farms and fields, moss-covered fences,
And peacocks shouting in the distance.

Elsewhere has uneven cobbled streets
A deep smell of olive oil, bread, and cellar
Unintelligible chatter surrounding
There’s connectedness, grounding, history
And ancient faces reminiscent of home.

Elsewhere is a secret meadow
Where sky and earth go on forever
There’s itchy waist-high grass
Each breath fuller than the last
The entire world in one place.

Elsewhere is everywhere I haven’t been
Those places just within grasp
Elsewhere is everywhere I am not
An insatiable thirst for freedom

Maybe I am running…

So while I’m here,
I’ll try to be here
Though my mind will be
Elsewhere.

Mindfulness is about being present in this moment and being aware of yourself: your thoughts and how they’re making you feel, and how, then, that influences how you interact with the world around you.

If we don’t practice mindfulness, we may find ourselves escaping to other places with our minds as the vehicle. In doing so, we can become lost and miss out on important and beautiful things right in front of us…For years I traveled around the world with an insatiable thirst for experience. When my father asked what I was running from, I defiantly said I wasn’t running, I was seizing the day! And while that was true, I’ve grown to learn that there was another truth, existing concurrently — I didn’t like to be still, to feel idle and unproductive. I didn’t like being with myself. The external world was a distraction from my internal one.

Mindfulness is a practice and I have much to learn, but my thirst to learn about myself has become as insatiable as my wanderlust. It can be overwhelming to ask ourselves questions about why we behave or why we react in certain ways; but I’m finding that the process of uncovering the answers is making me a better person, someone I’m proud of and someone I enjoy being with. :)

Bristlecone pine trees gnarled by centuries of weather at 11,000 ft elevation. Photo my own.

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Writing nonfiction to share stories on climate change and conservation. Writing fiction just because it feels good. www.maggiedewane.com

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Maggie Dewane

Maggie Dewane

Writing nonfiction to share stories on climate change and conservation. Writing fiction just because it feels good. www.maggiedewane.com

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