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Isle of Pines NC permission granted nc0009Certain poems I return again and again to tap into a state of mind that I was experiencing while writing them–often a deep sense of harmony and exhilaration. As if I was a still leaf being carried away by a swiftly moving stream.

The following is such a poem. It was written when we were sailing through the South Pacific and visited Ile des Pins (Isle of Pines) in New Caledonia, a group of islands just south of Sydney, Australia.

Isle du Pins cropped1The island is well-known for its beauty—glassy, turquoise waves spilling onto sand as white as sugar and fine as flour. Walking ashore was like wading through drifts of powdery snow—each step leaving deep footprints.

The island is covered with tall, narrow native pines.

wikipedia 800px-Araucaria_columnaris_09JAN2011_052While walking through these trees, I became mesmerized by the beauty of the island. The sound of wind blowing through the branches, the sun slanting through the leaves, the fragrance of the pine-scented air, the greenness that enveloped me–it all flowed together and seemed to take me to a place beyond myself. Later, remembering how I felt and wanting to capture that,  I wrote this poem.

Ile des Pins

Tree ferns on Isle of Pines

Tree ferns on Isle of Pines (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is a path
green and thin
that wends away
and wheels me in

Rising, falling,
tree by tree,
lanced by light
through sward and leaf

Breathing pines
that breathe in me
like heady wine
flowing, free

Green above
and green below
no in, no out,
no high no low

Winds are water
I walk on water,
float on air

Drifting mindless
round the bend
bursting out
bursting in.

Isle du Pins croppedThe hypnotic rhythm and rhyme help to capture that sense of being swept away, unable to resist. A deep underlying harmony carries me to a point beyond rational explanation, where the boundaries between self and non-self, this and that, disappear, and something extraordinary just beyond my grasp opens up before me.

Reciting this poem to myself I re-experience that sense of peace and joy and power. And whatever had troubled me before begins to fall away.

What moves you beyond yourself? What resources do you tap into to find a sense of tranquility or renewal?