I am rugged and worn, like the beam stuck hearth,
A splinter-man, I cut and dig,
And you, my surface.
Finger the print, time's mark upon my age and see
The acorn-me, my form and twig,
And you, my warmth.
I try to incarnate the me, neath dirt and root and scree,
To dull the splinter touch, to smooth the ragged rough of me.
For the cold taught me warmth,
The dark, how to push,
Toward the whistling light breaking through,
Toward, upward, further, still.
Until I crack the the black horizon
Into the flooding wave of you;
Brave for the journey,
Strong to withstand,
Gloried by affection,
A holy land.
Timothy Willard is the author of five books, including Longing For More: Daily Reflections on Finding God in the Rhythms of Life and the forthcoming The Life-Giving Adventure of Chasing Beauty (Eerdmans, 2019). He has collaborated on over 20 books and has written, consulted and served as spiritual director for organizations such as Chick-fil-A, Catalyst, Q Ideas and Praxis Labs. When he’s not riding the trails in the Appalachian mountains you can find him by the fire with his three daughters and his wife making up stories about Tom the back yard badger. He lives somewhere in the south Charlotte woods.