Lost and Found

About 5 years ago, I started writing this blog. At the time I was a classroom teacher and had been ruminating on the idea being lost as a positive. Now, as an administrator, I continue to find the value in being lost, although I always wonder about the title of my blog, which maybe should change.

Today, I ran across two poems that reminded me of the importance of being lost, particularly in its ability to help us to be found. These poems spoke to me and I will share them here, without more commentary, so that they might speak to you in their own way.

Lost by David Wagoner

Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.

When You Get Lost by Carol Prejean Zippert

Tell me what scares you most
when you get lost
Can you draw from deep inside
What you use to hold you up
Do you move yourself differently
Tell me

Tell me what you do 
to reach that special calm
Can you direct a prayer
When do you know to wait
When do you know to risk
Tell me

Tell me what you do
when you get lost
Tell me

Then tell me 
How you know
When you not lost
no more
Tell me

I found both of these poems in the book “Leading from Within”, which is a treasure trove of inspirational poetry and thoughts by the leaders who chose them. The leader who chose “When You Get Lost”, Tom Beech, talked about the importance of ‘lost and found’ always being paired. Peter Senge, who chose “Lost” added,

The great mystery is that life, too, colludes in finding us. We would never think of a tree or a branch as being lost. Why would we be different?”

At the end of last year, when it felt like we had found ourselves a bit, I wrote a poem to share with our faculty. I didn’t think about it in the context of being lost or found at the time, but it clearly was in that vein. It is no Wagoner or Zippert poetry, but worth sharing nonetheless. This year continues to lead toward being lost and found, which I say is a good thing. I guess I should keep reminding myself of that.


The lantern’s glow
provides shelter and direction
comfort and clarity.

Come closer, it says.
I will wrap you in my light
and keep you safe

from uncertainty and worry,
if only for a moment,
until it ignites your flame.

Our light may wane, want, or vanish,
yet our purpose is clear.
Kindle the flame

warmth will return
way will open,
your light will shine 

for yourself and others
providing shelter and direction 
comfort and clarity...

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