Inhabiting Wonder: Time is a garden

Inhabiting Wonder: Time is a garden
by Mark Nepo

Things that matter take time to root and meaning takes time to blossom. Though we forget, time is a garden in which each of us is a seed breaking surface when we’re born. In wonder, we start to tend and water the things we dream of and care about. But as the seasons pass, we discover that we are the ones being watered and grown. Early on, we’re in a hurry, not wanting to miss anything, eager for the horizon. Then we trip and fall and are forced to touch the earth again. Soon, we’re wanting time to slow, wanting every moment to last, wanting to watch the orchid every day as it inches open, knowing our soul is opening in just this way. 

Like it or not, a deep part of our journey is to stay engaged in life long enough for truth to show itself. In spite of how we race to tomorrow, time speaks by how things grow, change, and evolve around us. Eventually, the fallen tree across a stream diverts the water to irrigate the field, fulfilling its purpose. The wooden stairs in an old farm house are worn by the generations of feet that walk them. If we stand in their steps and listen, we can hear their stories. And the faces of the medieval angels painted on the church walls in Italy are worn of their features over centuries, confirming that we’re all at heart the same if we can stop and go beneath our personal history. 

Read Mark Nepo's poetry also in Issue 06 here.

The excerpt is from Mark Nepo’s forthcoming book: The Way Under The Way: The Place of True Meeting (Sounds True), which will be on sale in November 2016. 

Mark Nepo is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Book of Awakening. Beloved as a poet, teacher, and storyteller, Mark’s recent work includes, The One Life We’re Given (Atria, July 2016), Inside the Miracle (Sounds True, November 2015), and his forthcoming book of poetry, The Way The Way Under the Way: The Place of True Meeting (Sounds True, on sale November 2016). Visit for more information.