House of Belonging
by David Whyte
Many Rivers Press, 98 pps.
Publication Date: March 1998
The poems in this evocative and moving book showcase David Whyte’s talent for touching the soul lightly yet
profoundly. This book belongs on every coach’s bookshelf, as it contains poems that speak to many of our clients’ deeper needs to belong.
Whyte examines ‘belonging’ as a universal longing for
human beings. His poetry evokes a sense of place, presence, being in touch with nature, and being in touch with all the good that we hold by being human. This book
of poetry examines the depths of longing, and the hope that can come from solitude, especially when one embraces nature, night-time, and the task of becoming.
Many clients have cherished poems from this book,
especially when they had lost sight of what was important to them. The poems offer a sense of hope, spirit, and spaciousness that there is room for everyone to live fully.
For example, the title poem, “House of Belonging,” can be appreciated on numerous levels, most especially in terms of self-acceptance, and the shaping and building of one’s
spiritual home. “Sweet Darkness” inspires tremendous hope that when one outgrows oneself, one can step into bigger-or different-shoes. “Working Together” honors the
interconnectedness of our paths, how we are shaped by choice as well as by what we can’t see. “Loaves and Fishes” is a powerful call for kindness, for remembering
that people need to feel seen, acknowledged, and connected.
My copy of this book is worn out. Much like the velveteen
rabbit, this book has been loved. I bring it to coaching sessions. I read these special poems to my clients. I read the book to myself before meeting with clients, as a way
of tapping into my own spaciousness and deeper listening. And I read it to myself when my own world is feeling too small, and I need a little inspiration.