May Sarton, self-aware, reflected throughout her life upon the passions and tempestuousness in her own soul, upon the darkness and the light, upon the confusion and the clarity, upon her hates and loves. In her latter years, some of them in deep solitude, she learned to love herself, and to love others, and to love life itself with generous depth. She lived experience of restoration, she knew that throughout her life she’d been engaged in becoming her truest self.

A Glass of Water

Here is a glass of water from my well.
It tastes of rock and root and earth and rain;
It is the best I have, my only spell,
And it is cold, and better than champagne.
Perhaps someone will pass this house one day
To drink, and be restored, and go his way,
Someone in dark confusion as I was
When I drank down cold water in a glass,
Drank a transparent health to keep me sane,
After the bitter mood had gone again.

May Sarton
Selected Poems, p110

Wholeness, our own, or that of another, requires a degree of open hospitality to the inner life of the soul – the “rock and root and earth and rain” at the centre, at the heart of every life; the governor that steadies and readies in times of “dark confusion”. And if we come to know that we must hold our own souls tenderly – at whatever stage of life our knowing comes – if we each depend upon being able to drink from the glass of “transparent health”, then we’ll naturally find ourselves wondering, hoping, that “someone will pass this house one day / To drink, and be restored, and go his way”

Until we’re home again where, and in Whom, the end is just the beginning.

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