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The Poetry of Nature

I Want to Write About Kindness Now

I want to write about kindness now
the quiet, unheroic humanity
that takes many forms
amidst blizzards of all sorts.

Here, now, we have snow and wind.
A doozey last night that's still blowing.
There, a drought 
or a flurry of words
or a grief or illness
that brings us to our knees.

What shows up without hesitation
is the wave or nod,
the home-cooked meal dropped off:
or part of a carefully planned
network of support.

The surprise of a driveway
cleared of snow not by your doing.
The phone call.
The hug.
The willingness to risk again.
The renewed faith in connections-
large and small--
that remind us we are part
of a big world
full of tender hearts 
and good intentions
that often find their mark.

The weather isn't all 
that warrants our words.
It is, as well, the kindness
of neighbors, strangers,
and those we love most
who carve a path to and from our hearts
as surely as these walls of snow and ice
descend like canyons down to roads and driveways.

This blowing, magnificent, maddening
blanket of snow
brings also a warmth that is indifferent to temperatures
or forecasts of unyielding cold.

~Chris Heeter

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Since 2000, The Wild Institute has been welcoming women who want to experience wild places. We go to great lengths to match you with a trip that fits what you’re looking for, whether you’re new to outdoor travel or an old hand; whether you want to go deep into the wilderness, or enjoy the comforts of a cabin at nature’s edge.

The Wild Institute believes that wilderness is less about struggle and stress, and more about connection to self, others, and the earth. So, Wild Institute trips are carefully designed with a blend of physical challenge, quiet introspection, laughter and conversation, and exploration of our beautiful, wild world.


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