Posted on 1 Comment

In Need of a Hug

Sometimes a person just really needs a hug.

Today is that day for me. I had a day that challenged me yesterday, following an early morning epiphany from a quote that I myself had posted several days earlier but failed to really take in until yesterday. It is thus:

“Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.” – Rilke

Can you see the lovely space?

I felt unloved (though I know I am not), thus unlovable and then not terribly loving, followed again by unlovable, etc., etc. As it sometimes goes. But revisiting that quote made me decide that I should be a loving princess, rather than a bleak, dark dragon. Beautiful idea. Unfortunately, I failed. I did not manage to be Princess Kathleen, after all.

Woke up today, again, crabby. All possible human affection currently unavailable, I headed for my hugging tree in the woods. The trunk of that great big cottonwood has a nice concave place where a human of a certain size can fit, just so. I needed to fit myself into that space and commune with that tree, feel its cells buzzing all up close and commingling with my own. I needed to feel the love. I suppose, more, I needed to give the love, as Rilke says.

Sometimes being a good human is hard. Sometimes just being a human is hard, challenging, deflating, disappointing. I prefer it to be beautiful, uplifting, joyous, magical, mystifying, toe-tappingly musical. And often it is all of those things. But not always. And then one has to find a hugging tree. I hope you have one.

“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity… and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.” ― William Blake

“In our world, dear reader, sad and terrible things often happen, though I wish I could tell you otherwise. But strangely wonderful things also occur, and this is the truth that makes life worth living.” ― John Mark Green, She Had a Very Inconvenient Heart

“Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.” ― Herman Hesse, Bäume

If you’re looking for my cards or art, you’ll find all of that on my website. If you enjoy these letters, feel free to forward this one to anyone you think might like it. And if someone forwarded this one to you, you can sign up here to receive the letters right in your Inbox. Finally, you’ll find past letters and poems here.

Thanks for listening,

P.S. MerryThoughts is the name of my first book, out of print at the moment. The word is a British one, referring both to a wishbone and to the ritual of breaking the wishbone with the intention of either having a wish granted or being the one who marries first, thus the “merry thoughts.”

1 thought on “In Need of a Hug

  1. I was just thinking how glad I am that you are alive. I know that we barely know each other but I always feel I sense the essence of who you are when I read your writings. It is a loving, kind, creative essence that makes the world a better place. I am grateful to have met you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *