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Posts Tagged ‘walking’

Who is this woman so concerned with arrivals?

Doesn’t she know we are writing about paths?

What is her rush to get to the meadow?

What does she think she will find there?

She missed the sunflowers in the garden,

a whole row of luscious bright yellow bloom.

She missed the chatter of the chipmunk,

the hot scent of rabbit brush almost like sage,

the mica glistening like crushed starlight beneath her feet.

She is like one of those trucks on the highway,

a blur, a roar, an impersonal thundering.

Oh, see, now that she thinks she’s arrived somewhere,

now she starts noticing the field,

the crunch of dry grass, the dirt, her own short shadow.

Funny, she looks lost, standing there with her pen and paper,

her longing to find something worthwhile to say.

Should we tell her it’s okay,

that the lack of arrival could be her new point A?

And everywhere she looks, a new path.

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Oblivious

Don’t tell the woman

walking on the dirt road

that there’s a large bear

six feet to her right

in the dense spruce woods—

at the rate she’s walking

she’ll be past it soon,

and what she doesn’t know

isn’t hurting her for now.

What good comes

from knowing all the dangers

life may not have in store?  

See, she’s past the bear now.

She’s talking to the squirrel

who chatters wildly above her.

And, looking across the road

at the light glinting off the river,

she’s smiling, not even knowing

just how many reasons

she has to smile.  

*By the way, friends, I DO think it’s important to be prepared, even if (especially if?) you’re oblivious. I carry bear spray with me on my walks, and I really was six feet from the bear, yikes. But we stared at each other and it was disinterested in me, whew. And I hightailed it outta there.

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Freedom

 

To walk alone

on the dirt road.

Whatever the weather,

to be grateful for it.

To step and step

and step again—

not toward an end,

but for the joy

of stepping.

Squirrel tail.

Creek scent.

Swish of last year’s leaves.

Nowhere to be

but here.

And the next here.

And next.To know

the self as traveler.

To know the self

as road.

To know each step

as freedom when

there’s nowhere

to go.

 

 

 

 

 

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            for Donna

Today, for an hour,

I let the only news be

my body, my friend,

and the road we walked on.

Our footsteps kept time

to our chatter. We

spoke of family and fear,

health and uncertainty,

friendship and transformation.

We smiled and worried

and reveled in the day.

The hills were steep,

and we liked it that way.

Later I try to remember this—

how sometimes I choose

a challenging path on purpose.

How all the while

we huffed up the hill,

we were surrounded

by bird song, by laughter.

How speaking of difficult things

makes them less frightening.

How the road was a pleasure

when we walked it together.

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Despite the fact the road is empty

there’s a way that two friends

 

will bump into each other as they walk,

as if they are two wine glasses clinking,

 

toasting to the trees around them,

to the cold clear air, to the laughter

 

that rises, to the joy of finding themselves

walking the same road at the same time.

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Perhaps that is when Thanksgiving

matters most—when you

walk the empty street alone,

scarred and scared and unsure.

That’s when giving thanks

becomes less of an abstract and more

like the way to take a next breath—

something that seems elusive, but

in fact it’s essential, and it’s right there,

just waiting for you to meet it,

to open yourself, to let it in.

Yes, for now it feels worthy of thanks

that the air is cool and clean and feels

good in the lungs, and the feet know

to walk you closer toward yourself

and the day holds you, holds you

in its soft gray arms, throws

a carpet of dry leaves at your feet,

suggests you keep walking into your life.

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Walking at Night

 

 

One way to open your eyes is to ask yourself, “What if I had never seen this before? What if I knew I would never see it again?

            —Rachel Carson

 

 

And so I memorize how it is

that the cheeks nearly freeze

but the body’s so warm,

how the river informs every measure

but the thoughts sift to silence,

how the body thrills

in its ability to swing one foot

in front of the other, how

walking is just another name

for recovering from falling,

how strange it seems now

that I was once afraid of the dark.

 

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I like my body when I’m in the woods

and I forget my body. I forget that arms,

that legs, that nose. I forget that waist,

that nerve, that skin. And I aspen. I mountain.

I river. I stone. I leaf. I path. I flower.

I like when I evergreen, current and berry.

I like when I mushroom, avalanche, cliff.

And everything is yes then, and everything

new: wild iris, duff, waterfall, dew.

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One Friendship

—for Kyra

 

walking the icy hill

every step a triumph—

and us,

crazy enough

to walk it together

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Bushwhack

 

 

I followed the road as if it were a teacher.

It went up, I went up. It turned, I turned.

It was a long time before I relearned

that the road is not the only way to go.

The first day I walked away from the gravel,

I fell. That was the day I learned

staying upright is not what’s most important.

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