Hola, Reader. It’s been a while. Sorry about the lack of roundup last week. Since I was last here there has/have been one astoundingly beautiful bouquet of roses on my doorstep, one big fall on a Brownie field trip, one small but very bruised chin, (interlude: one champagne dinner), one trip to urgent care, one emergency dental appointment, one relieved mother (nothing broken, no permanent damage), one trip to the grocery store, one trip to the library, two days off school, one day-trip up into the mountains, one-bazillion curvy switchbacks, three cases of motion sickness, one pizza dinner, and one copy of the art book I’ve been coveting for years finally affordable and delivered to my front porch (wahoo!).
No complaints. But not many poems.
I am not what you would call a nature poet. I’m more of a kitchen sink poet. Or a laundry room (I use the term loosely) poet. Or a Safeway poet. On my lesser days, a crockpot poet. On my better days, maybe a spiritual landscape poet. But no, not a nature poet. Still, I feel that every time I spend some time in nature I learn about poetry. Or maybe I learn about life, and since poetry is a big part of my life, I learn about poetry. But anyway, I took down this letter from the redwood forest yesterday. And, well, here it is:
From: The redwood forest
carpe diem I have been here since the 13th century. You have been here since the 1970s (or insert your decade here). I will be here hundreds or thousands of years after you’re gone. Get after it.
things will grow in/on/around you They might be things you like and they might not. They might be freckles or wrinkles or feelings or cancer or inflammatory markers or moles or gray hairs or, in my case, moss. You do not have control over everything. The thing(s) that is/are growing in/on/around you might be beautiful even if you wouldn’t choose them. And even if they’re not all beautiful, they become a part of you.
stay on the trail I’m not talking about the sidewalk or the hamster wheel or the corporate ladder or any particular trail. I’m talking about the trail that you know in your heart of hearts is yours. Yes, that one.
if a giant tree falls across your path, say yes And climb over.
look down from time to time It might be pretty.
you can find water even in times of drought You just might have to walk a while to find it.
wind and weather and time and water and other people’s feet and the turning of the earth will wear on you and smooth you over and make you even more interesting and gorgeous than when you were when you first sprouted.
it’s possible to survive a fire and keep on growing (but you won’t forget the burning)
you might see these little grassy hummocks that somehow remind you of the muppets who, it seems, at any moment might rise up and break into song Keep your sense of humor. Let the weirdness in. Believe that anything is possible.
I’m glad the redwood forest has lessons even for the kitchen sink poet. Now it’s off to do the dishes… .