Is This the Path of Love?

 In Reflections

“Look at every path closely and deliberately, then ask yourself this crucial question: Does this path have a heart? If it does, then the path is good. If it doesn’t, it is of no use.” —Carlos Castaneda

Last Tuesday evening, in our Poetry of the Season session, Julie Bowman introduced us to and focused on poet Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer. In one of the poems shared, The Question, we are invited to consider Is this the path of love? 

This powerful question reminded some of us of our founder Jean Springer’s often asked question, what is mine to do? Both questions are the kind you can revisit again and again. Like Rainer Maria Rilke’s famous advice to a young poet to “live the questions,” these questions are worthy of living with for a while.

Often reminded by wise souls to pause, take a deep breath, and pause again before making a decision or responding in an important conversation, Rosemerry’s question also offers an opportunity to discern what really matters before embarking on a new path, next step, or speaking words in a conversation that can never be unsaid.
“All day, I replay these words:
Is this the path of love?
I think of them as I rise,
as I wake my children,
as I drive too close
behind the slow blue Subaru,
Is this the path of love?”
—Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, excerpt from The Question
Imagine asking yourself this question. How will you know the answer? Will you feel it in your heart or gut? Will the knowing come to you in prayer? No matter how you discern the truth for you, how much better might your life unfold if you took the time to ask yourself this question often? Love only knows.May you be inspired to frequently ask yourself “Is this the path of love?” And may the answer keep guiding you forward.

Pursue the Path

“Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.”
―Henry David Thoreau

The Beautiful Path

“If the path be beautiful, let us not ask where it leads.”
―Anatole France

Finding the Love

“When we let go of our battles and open our heart to things as they are, then we come to rest in the present moment. This is the beginning and the end of spiritual practice. Only in this moment can we discover that which is timeless. Only here can we find the love that we seek. Love in the past is simply memory, and love in the future is fantasy. Only in the reality of the present can we love, can we awaken, can we find peace and understanding and connection with ourselves and the world.”
― Jack Kornfield

The Question

for Jude Jordan Kalush, who asked the question

All day, I replay these words:
Is this the path of love?
I think of them as I rise,
as I wake my children,
as I wash dishes,
as I drive too close
behind the slow blue Subaru,
Is this the path of love?
Think of these words as I stand in line
at the grocery store,
think of them as I sit on the couch
with my daughter.
Amazing how quickly six words
become compass, the new lens
through which to see myself in the world.
I notice what the question is not.
Not, “Is this right?”
Not, “Is this wrong?”
It just longs to know
how the action of existence
links us to the path of love.
And is it this? Is it this?
All day, I let myself be led by the question.
All day I let myself not be too certain
of the answer. Is it this?
Is this the path of love? I ask
as I wait for the next word to come.

—Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, The Path to Kindness: Poems of Connection & Joy, edited by James Crews (Storey Publishing, 2022)

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