Regaining My Soul

After William Stafford

I began walking
diligently in 2009 —
the Padden Creek trail
if time was short
if I needed light and water
and the flight of birds;
the Interurban trail
if I needed solace
and time to myself
if I needed green forest
and fresh scrubbed air.

That year I escaped
the soul-crushing hell
of corporate cubicle life.
I wanted recovery
and discovery.
I wanted to explore
what I might have
to say and write.
I wanted butterflies
and birds, rain and fish
and all the forested
splendor of this place.

I wanted
to be saved;
I wanted,
and began
I began walking,
began reclaiming
I began walking,
began reclaiming
my life.
I began walking,
began regaining
my soul.


Andrew Shattuck McBride
NaPoWriMo 2014 ~ Day 20

This was inspired by a lovely poem by William Stafford,
“How to Regain Your Soul.” Stafford began his poem with

“Come down Canyon Creek trail on a summer / afternoon….”

See The Darkness Around Us Is Deep: Selected Poems
of William Stafford
, edited and with an introduction
by Robert Bly (1993).

About Andrew Shattuck McBride

I am a writer, editor, writing coach, and consultant. I work in a variety of genres, including poetry, short stories, and creative non-fiction. I also have a couple of novels simmering on back burners. THANK YOU to Nan Macy of Village Books for taking this photo (June 2011).
This entry was posted in Andrew Shattuck McBride Writer, Authors, Books, NaPoWriMo ~ 2014, Notes on the Literary Life, Poets, Samples, Trail Offerings, Transformation. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Regaining My Soul

  1. susanissima says:

    Awesome beats, poet, and I love your ending. It’s inspiring to watch how focused you are on Padden Creek, exploring moments, the mystery and magic one step at a time.

    • Susan, thank you so much. You are very kind.

      Four days in, I started wondering what I might write about — related to Padden Creek.

      Luckily, there’s no end to inspiration!

      Thanks again, and all the best, Andy

  2. Excellent, and a lovely tribute to Stafford. He’s one of my favorites.

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