Naked November                                                                                  Sun, 16th November, 2014

The trees have something to teach me.
Will I learn to hear their silent words?
They quietly teach my heart to whisper the words
"I must learn to be vulnerable."

In this season of turning inward,
When flamboyant foliage fades into memory,
The lesson begins with simple being.
The skies and seasons swirl overheard as I remain rooted.

The trees speak softly of accepting change,
Perhaps inspiring those words of Ecclesiastes
That sing of a time for every purpose.
And on this cold, dark day it is a time to let go.

And then the most beautiful lesson of all:
That letting go of so many fig leaves
Is in the same tender moment
An embrace of my vulnerable, naked self.

In my nakedness I stand in the presence of the universe
Or of God or of you, my love,
With arms open wide under churning skies,
Eyes closed, breast bared, feet connected to earth.

Will you see my crooked limb
Where the summer storm exacted its price?
Or the curve of my back, twisted
From too much reaching, desiring, longing.

Will you run your hands over my rough-hewn bark
Contemplating my imperfect plates of armor,
Thick and calloused here, thin and vulnerable there,
And tenderly touch the scars to see if you still believe.

And the most terrifying question of all,
Harder than the frost or the pruning saw's bite:
Will you, seeing my unadorned, true self,
Still love me just the same?

And will I, in turn, learn to love my naked self,
To love the imperfect shape that speaks my history.
May I, in winter's quiet, whisper into the wind the words
"I love you," and trust they will come back to me in spring.