I walked into the woods—a light breeze blowing breaths on my back

Wanting space—and time—and solace, perhaps?

The woods called out to me

“Come—walk deeper into the unknown…”

They dared me to take a new path

I trust the woods, and so I wandered

Each stride took me further away

Each stride brought me closer

I landed in a canopy of trees towering over my figure from all side

My arms instinctively raised, my Canon in hand, I snapped shadows and light

Thinking—ignorantly that you wanted me to take a picture with my camera


You wanted me to take a picture with my brain

The trees are tremendous teachers

I stood at their feet—ever looking up

Ever hungry for any morsel of wisdom they might gift me—a beggar

I looked up up up

Up until my neck ached

Up until my shoulders were tired and tender

Up—until the sun burst through the clearing—leaving only light

Bright, white light—that stings your eyes and steals your breath and make your nostrils sting

When the cloud returned—I laughed with gratitude and awe

Without the shadows, the light would be overwhelming

You are the light and the shadow

You are both—therefore I am both

The things you show me in the light are not the thing you show me in the dark

But there is purpose for both places—solace in both spaces

When I need you, I meditate on that place

The place I knew you were there

With me



 Kayla Weinkauf lives for and loves to create through writing, cooking, photography, acting, and painting.

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