Friday, August 25, 2017

to run free, and sure

of the Smokies, Wyoming, Iceland, and teaching

what a summer!

in the Smokies
I have explored what fire and wind can do to the woods—
closing trails and yet even opening a vista
on the top of a hill up above our cabin,
watching plants return from roots and seared branch,
I have pursued flowers, a sunset, a sunrise,
and bears have visited me as if to pose for my photos,

in Wyoming
moose, mountain sheep, wild goats,
elk, a coyote, and even a cinnamon bear
came close enough to our world
for me to photograph and appreciate them,
petroglyphs told me their stories,
though, like in dance, I could not quite get the words,
one piece of petrified wood whispered to me from a stream,
it whispered of a world so long ago
that it knew the dinosaurs,

in Iceland
the Earth has opened herself up enough
for the rocks to have clear, fresh memories of creation,
for water to fume and geysir, to heat homes and make electricity,
for water to still embody itself as glacier,
and, in its melting, roar in laughter as waterfall,
the big native mammals here, the whales, dolphins, and seals,
come off the shore of Iceland for seafood buffets,

so much of who I am chooses nature over cities,

as a career, though, I work with young people,
to help them know themselves, appreciate themselves,
to help them unwrap the potential present of who they are
and give it to the world,

I appreciate unbridled nature,
and I hope to help each student
learn how to run free,
to run with the beauty each can be
when let loose from the shackles
that reach to hold us back and down,
when doubt is too much with us.

by Henry H. Walker

August 18, ‘17

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