How I Have Loved the Land

If I were told that I had but a month to remain here on Earth
Surely I would reflect on many things in my waning days
As I said my goodbyes to this place and its people.

And among those reflections would be the sort
That I now have in mind as I write—
How I have loved the land
And the water
And the animals
And the plants.

And surely I will regret
That I have not spent more time
By the campfire
Or on the trails
Or with my hands in the dirt
Or a line in the water
Or a longbow in my hand—

For it has always seemed that I
Have become a better person
For every hour so spent—

And even as I reflect now from my desk
I know that there is no reflection like
That done outdoors—

And I wonder if there is not even
Some manner of worship in it —
Simply to imbibe of what was so bounteously
Bestowed upon us all—
Seeing it as such.

And while I am now
In such humble circumstances as to
Live in a city without so much as
A dog or a cat to call my own —

I do count it among my greatest blessings
To have been able to sit and listen
As often as I have managed—
Where nature itself seems to whisper topics
For one’s consideration.

And I count it my good fortune
To have worked the puzzle of origins
And to have reconnoitered my place
On the timeline of this planet,
Longing to give honor to it all
By understanding what I could.

I have heard the hymn of nature’s beauty
And have felt the smallness of me
Against the stage of the Earth
And the house of the Sea
And the endless balcony of the Stars—

And I have wondered what was meant where it says
That he has set eternity in the hearts of men—
And whether that was the thing that
All this time
Has been tugging at me so—

That eternity from which this present world
Will make better sense than
We can make of it from here—

From where it will be obvious
Beyond misunderstanding
Why we were made to
Start our journey here
In this glorious outpost—
With both its difficulties
And blessings.

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