A Favorite Poem, and Today’s Thoughts

Today, I’d like to share a favorite poem that I heard many years ago when I was in the struggle of figuring out and accepting my diagnosis.  It resonated with something deep within me and gave me courage and hope to keep working to overcome my challenges.  I hope it gives you a boost as well.  This is one of those great sources of hope I talk about in a previous post, that can help us when we are struggling with despair, and can give us courage to keep going.

Good Timber

By Douglas Malloch

The tree that never had to fight
For sun and sky and air and light,
But stood out in the open plain
And always got its share of rain,
Never became a forest king
But lived and died a scrubby thing.

The man who never had to toil
To gain and farm his patch of soil,
Who never had to win his share
Of sun and sky and light and air,
Never became a manly man
But lived and died as he began.

Good timber does not grow with ease,
The stronger wind, the stronger trees,
The further sky, the greater length,
The more the storm, the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
In trees and men good timbers grow.

Where thickest lies the forest growth
We find the patriarchs of both.
And they hold counsel with the stars
Whose broken branches show the scars
Of many winds and much of strife.
This is the common law of life.

I have definitely had many moments of being “done”–done with my negative thoughts that I couldn’t seem to control, done with constant emotional pain, and done with having to carry the heavy weight of depression.  I’ve been “done” with not being able to sleep at night, done with not being able to do things that I used to love, because they now cause me too much pain.  The list goes on and on.  Like many of you, I have been sick and tired of having to live with bipolar depression day after day after day.  I am grateful, that I had reminders, like this poem to teach me what I already know, but can forget: Everybody has hard things and many–very many, have overcome and emerged stronger and better than they were when they started.

It’s so hard to see this when you are right in the middle of the proverbial biting winds and beating hail, or when relentless heat beats mercilessly, constantly upon you.  Those are the moments, I found, that I really needed to hear that there was a purpose to all the pain.  This poem is one of those reminders.

I can already look back to 17 years or so ago, when I started having symptoms of depression and see how much I have grown since then.  It makes me realize how much having mental illness has taught me.  I know I would not be who I am today without having lived through it.

Those are just my thoughts today.

What are you thinking about today?  How do you find courage and hope to keep going when things are hard?

Source: https://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/good-timber-by-douglas-malloch

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7 Replies to “A Favorite Poem, and Today’s Thoughts”

  1. Lately, my anxiety has been focused on friendship. And I’m not sure if I’m overreacting or if my feelings are actually validated (hence the fighting with my anxiety). They always say when you get married and have kids, friendships will drift apart because “life gets busy”. I just think people don’t know how to have friendships anymore. Especially the ones I called mine. I don’t have kids, but am married, and my “best friend” doesn’t have kids and is single, so basically I don’t see an excuse but it’s as if I dropped off the planet. So my anxiety took over and I made a harsh status on my Facebook and deleted it. Anxiety and friendship are an awful mix.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, that is difficult! I remember the same thing happening when I got married. I remember that being hard for me. I think, in some people’s minds, marriage adds a new dynamic to a friendship and people just aren’t sure how to navigate that. I hope that you and your friend find a way to get back to a good place. I’m sorry you are stressed! Thank you for sharing what’s on your mind. I’m glad you stopped by today ❤️

      Like

      1. It’s funny the only thing that’s actually changed is just the piece of paper that says we’re married legally lol. She even used to live with us for two years! It’s hard not just basically losing your best friend but your person. I feel replaced. But thank you! I hope you feel a bit better too! 🖤🖤🖤

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for introducing me to this wonderful poem. As with all things that hold a greater truth, I found my own messages of solace and power in it. As a person who has been luckier than most, my thoughts are with those who struggle to combat the weariness of illness, and my sense today, was to try and connect and share a little something across the world, in this network of blogs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad that you enjoyed this poem. It does teach truth and I’m grateful you felt strengthened by it. Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

      Like

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