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April 22, 2008

The Nature in Me

Earth day seems like a good day for a poem.

I wrote this a long time ago, 1999, when I wrote a lot of poetry because my mind was in a place much different than now. I was quite depressed then and it was a time of questioning and searching and in hindsight, a lot of personal growth even though it felt like a misty, foggy, dark place back then.

And, a friend of mine took me to a place we used to go cycling to in Point Roberts. There's a bluff high above the water. An old wooden bench is perched on the edge of the bluff under an arbutus tree. On one side is an American flag and the other has a red maple leaf, the paint peeling from the wind that hits the bluff. We didn't say much. But, together, we sat there. The wind from the sea was soothing. I can still see the white caps on the green surface.

I can still remember how it felt. It was comforting. Being there looking out to sea provided perspective.

So, if for any reason, you're not feeling so well today, or you're feeling lonely or lost or at a dead end, there are few things that offer greater comfort than nature if you can let yourself be silent in it.

So, any day, you're feeling like that, but perhaps especially on this artificially designated "Earth Day", go for a walk in nature, if you can. And, pay attention to how what you are seeing can be a metaphor to how you are feeling.

Here's what I wrote then.

The Nature in Me

Standing on that bluff
wind crossing my brow
like the affectionate
touch of a grandparent's hand,
I want to sit on that bench
placed there it seems
solely to aid in my contemplation.

Survey the mountains,
tiles of water forming sea,
greens and greys and whites,
light, in all its subtlety.

Learning from this outer landscape:
What's going on inside of me?

Not so special
in comparison to what is.

Grass, clouds
volcanoes, earthquakes
gorges, mountains
lakes and caves

Life on earth.

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