Finding Guidance in Unlikely Places - Sage Hill Counseling

Throughout my life, I have both guided and been guided by others. No matter how old I get, this doesn’t seem to change. I do sense that I’m on the guiding end more these days than I was when I was younger, but the more I embrace the mystery and beauty and struggles of my life, the more I recognize the abundance of guides all around me.  

My guides find me in unexpected places; like the way a leaf rests on my truck windshield after a rain, or the way a child runs to her dad as I walk by the playground. I even hear the guides speak to me in a deep question that begs not to be answered but held and considered.

I also hear the patient guidance of the daffodils as they wait and wait and wait in the cold dark ground for their journey to the light — only to offer themselves humbly, whether anyone or anything stops to notice; a helpful reminder that simple, stunning beauty takes time and is worth waiting for.

May we all take hold of and foster gratefulness for the heightened awareness that gives us “eyes to see” so that we will know where to look for the good parts — the guides — ever-present offerings that arrive daily for each of us.

Field Guide by Tony Hoagland

Once, in the cool blue middle of a lake,
up to my neck in that most precious dement of all, 

I found a pale-gray, curled-upwards pigeon feather
floating on the tension of the water

at the very instant when a dragonfly,
like a blue-green iridescent bobby pin,

hovered over it, then lit, and rested.
That’s all.

I mention this in the same way
that I fold the corner of a page

in certain library books,
so that the next reader will know

where to look for the good parts.

“Field Guide” by Tony Hoagland from Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty.

© Graywolf Press, 2010.

If you need help knowing how to look for the good parts in your life, contact Sage Hill Counseling today. We’re here to help.

Dane Anthony is the Director of Spiritual Formation for Sage Hill Counseling. He also co-facilitates multiple groups each week and teaches various classes. Learn more about Dane or email him at


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