Melancholy? (2/10/21)

I spend the first few minutes of the day watching the fire,
trying to arrange the wood just right,
so the flames can find their way
around and through the pieces.
I leave the electric heater off these cold mornings
and practice patience, letting the wood give itself
to the gradual warming of the cabin.
The crackle of the flames is soothing
and the heat goes deeper into my bones.

Am I melancholic?
Of course, but happily so.
A paradox, to be sure.
Melancholy is one of the subtle spices
that brings a full rich flavor to my life.
It has companions in the stew, of course:
Joy in myriad sights and sounds;
Love abounding in unexpected places;
Taste of butter rice, green olives, and mandarin oranges;
Nancy’s eyes and voice.

Still, if the transience of forms doesn’t bring some melancholy,
we’re just not paying attention.
Thing is, melancholy itself is one of these transient forms
that does its dance at appointed times.

Beneath it all is Light without a hint of shadow
and Love without a trace of fear.

Author: William Martin

Taoist teacher and consultant

4 thoughts on “Melancholy? (2/10/21)”

  1. When I was a teenager, I walked into my grandma’s house for a visit. I found her sitting in her rocker, staring out the window, with big tears running down her cheeks. “What’s wrong, grandma?” I asked. “Oh,” she said, “Just remembering.” I now remember this story, and tears come to my eyes, but as you say, it’s part of the mix that gives my life “a full rich flavor”. Thanks.


  2. there is a heaviness that accompanies my melancholy. i don’t know why but burning a fire seems to go well with those days. i’m heading to the backyard to build my fire, watch the flames dance and the sky change….such beauty.
    thank you for your works William~


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