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WISE WOMAN by BethAnne Kapansky Wright

I wrote this poem on International Women's Day as a personal reflection of growth and wisdom in my life...

Lately this wisdom has been put to the test by the unexpected and tragic loss of my brother back in January. If ever there was a time to stretch and dig and pool the resources of self-love, self-compassion, spirit, wisdom grace and perspective, which I have worked so hard to embody, this has been it.

As I ran that day, I reflected that though this has been a terrible season in life, it has also come with great beauty. And while the nature of this kind of grief is uncharted territory, my previous experiences with grief has prepared me to make this journey. Though I have welcomed support in many forms, in my heart of hearts I know I have to make this passage alone, and that I have to show up for myself in this season in life. I am the wise woman I am seeking.

Nature, the familiar trees and trails and woods that I am so inclined to run in, has been my refuge and safe place for years. They have watched me grow up, change with my losses, soften as I've learned how to love more deep and full. I have found many truths in their embrace, and the biggest truth of all is stated at the end of the poem- that the purpose of any good truth, is to integrate it within ourselves, so we can learn how to live it.   

Wise Woman
by BethAnne Kapansky Wright

I’ve passed this lake
so many times
she watched me shift
from young maiden
to wise woman
in the blink of a
few winters eyes.
Where have
the days gone.
I’ve ran these woods
so many miles
they can tell you
the shape of my steps,
and know the weight
of my heart by
the weight of
each strike.
How far I’ve
traveled on foot-
there are the journeys
we make within
and the journeys
we take without.
I’ve pressed my
palms to the earth
so often she long ago
bade me welcome,
inviting me to sit,
stay for awhile,
and tell her of the wild dreams
I seek for the earth
of my life.
I keep searching
for the truths of my heart
by the way of the stars,
by the shifts of the clouds,
by the grace of suns
rises and sets.
They tell me the
secret of growing pains:
that it aches to become.
They tell me that you can’t
use people to plug the holes in
your sinking ship,
that you must learn the
ever changing nature of water
and how to swim strong
for yourself.
They tell me that the purpose
of any good truth is
simply to learn

how to live it.
Photography by Elizabeth Gadd


BethAnne Kapansky Wright: I am a Clinical Psychologist enjoying life from my tiny corner of Anchorage, Alaska. I love writing personal essays, composing quirky poetry, and creating whimsical art. I can often be found on top of the nearest mountain or running through the trails of my beloved woods with my little white dog who has the legs of a gazelle and mighty heart of a lion. My work has been published in The Elephant Journal and When Women Waken and used in collaboration with a local dance company to create performance art. I am also the author of the poetry chapbook The Art of Becoming. I am inspired by nature, rainbows, cake, hearts, the power of women, the thousand faces of love, and the beautiful journey of becoming more fully human. I can be found on Facebook or on my blog: Sunshine in Winter, here. 

~If you are interested in seeing your poetry appear in this blog, or submitting a poem by a woman that has inspired you, please click here for submission guidelines. I greatly look forward to hearing from you!~ 

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