Sunday, April 6, 2008

Paths







Life’s journey--
Of dirt roads,
Slick city streets,
Broad avenues, dark alleys;
Cobblestone, weeds,
Snow and black ice--


The paths are traveled with
Family who nurse us from the womb and cradle,
Feed us, change our diapers,
While we are helpless
To do for ourselves.


Friends, may walk for years beside us,
Or for only a few minutes,
Close at our sides,
We see them clearly, know their pace,


Still others keep faithful distance
Along a parallel path—
Trees are between us;
We can not see them,
But we hear their voices and know the sound
Of their footsteps in the leaves.


Teachers help us to discern
The merits of the road less traveled,
Help us to know others and ourselves
Give us confidence
That the path is straight, and good.


Lovers’ passion
Makes us skip, jump, run
Like lava, sweet and molten, then--
Cooling off, becoming hard and cold,
Side-stepping the rocks,
Seeking disparate trails.


Others, we encounter briefly,
A cool grotto – soothing to the touch,
Yet the water is rancid,
Tainted with strife;
We learn the course to avoid;


Siblings walk steps behind
For years in shade,
Forge divergent lines
Always returning, with changed gait
Or knowledge of the terrain;


Stretches of solitude:
With loneliness comes understanding
Of self and others,
And of the journey–
We learn in exile how to
Navigate streams
That seem too deep to traverse.


We run from the shadows of ourselves,
From hostile and wild things unknown,
From sorrow, anxiety, fear
We stumble, skin a knee,
Lick a finger, taste our own blood.


Storms pummel us, wind chaps our faces
Muddy spots and fallen trees block the way—
We detour great distances
From the intended path, building strength:
Our legs lean and strong from striving.


The clouds clear, the sun rises,
The air is sweet, white beach sand
Between our toes feels like heaven,
Balmy salt air enchants us
We linger, but the road is always changing,


Let us endeavor to hold the hands,
Of those who stumble,
To walk, to run, to jump, to crawl when we must--
Never stopping, always savoring,
All for the pleasure and the weight
Of the road under our feet,


So that our faces may be
Lined with the tracks of living.

1 comment:

LJ said...

Well summarized. Love it. And the pictures provide the perfect visual, for sure.