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Living That Last Word

See with every turning day,
how each season wants to make a child
of you again, wants you to become
a seeker after rainfall and birdsong,
watch now, how it weathers you to a

in the tried and true, tells you
with each falling leaf, to leave and slip

even from that branch that held you,
to go when you need to, to be courageous,
to be like that last word you’d want to say
before you leave the world.

– David Whyte, Coleman’s Bed

We all move through the world at our pace, seeing things as our mind opens our eyes to them. I could never have read this poem ten years ago and seen it the way I do today. I wonder at who I might be in another ten years, should I be so bold as to expect the time.

We all transform over time and place, in each conversation and with every realization. We get consumed with thoughts of whether we do enough or become enough, we reach a point where we gently push such self-talk away or let it eat us alive. But the question isn’t whether we’ve done enough at all. It’s simply, have we lived enough?

When you’re lying on your death bed someday 50 years from now or maybe tonight, what will your last word in this earth be? What are the last thoughts racing through your fading mind? Will you smile in your last breath or will a tear form in your eye? That person in that last moment wants you to be courageous today.

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