I’m recently back from a trip to Finland and Norway which was immensely stimulating. Before I set out I was reading some of the poetry of the Norwegian poet Olav H. Hauge, available in an excellent collection ‘Leaf-huts and Snow-houses’ translated by Robin Fulton, published by Anvil.

I was especially taken by one poem which seems to me to have much to say about our spiritual journey. It is entitled ‘You want only to be’, and it goes like this:

“No root groping
in the hard rock,
no sprout, no sapling,
not the strong bole in the storm,
no humble branch,
no bast, no bark
in frost and snow-
no rising sap,
no force to grow,
no fruit, no seed,
not the leaf quietly
building its dome-
you want only to be
the swaggering bloom.”