Tag Archives: self

Transplants dig deeper roots

I’m still in awe of these mountains.

Where I grew up, it was flat as a table.

Marsh and swamp

fields of corn and beet lines all following the horizon.

Difficult to connect to something when all you keep looking toward

is the horizon.

Here though, in the foot hills of these Cascades

a certain wonderment fills the air.

No longer lost

or looking West.

You can’t escape the mountains here.

You are enclosed by them. A constant reminder

of a billion years of rocks mashing and volcanoes rising

and glaciers melting.

Nature has put herself right in front of you daring you to forget

she is there.

That’s why the people here seem settled even as the grey rain

fills the sky day after day.

Nature is where we belong, it is where we were wild and free.

And that freedom is lost when you can only look West.

We drink these mountains, live from their waters collected

as snow from the Autumn through the Winter until

the Spring melt.

It is hard to escape Nature here.

Even in the cities filled with yachts and skyscrapers and

pavement as far as the eye can see all the way

to the Horizon.

There looming above is Pilchuck and Ranier and Baker.

Dominating the skyline in steel blue grey jagged peaks and

glaciers that connect us to our wild selves.

It is wild here, among these mountains and rivers.

The urge to run that my Midwest self fought and succumbed to

has been satiated.

This transplant has dug deeper roots here among the wild.


Journey Into the Interior

In the long journey out of the self,
There are many detours, washed-out interrupted raw places
Where the shale slides dangerously
And the back wheels hang almost over the edge
At the sudden veering, the moment of turning.
Better to hug close, wary of rubble and falling stones.
The arroyo cracking the road, the wind-bitten buttes, the canyons,
Creeks swollen in midsummer from the flash-flood roaring into the narrow valley.
Reeds beaten flat by wind and rain,
Grey from the long winter, burnt at the base in late summer.
– Or the path narrowing,
Winding upward toward the stream with its sharp stones,
The upland of alder and birchtrees,
Through the swamp alive with quicksand,
The way blocked at last by a fallen fir-tree,
The thickets darkening,
The ravines ugly.

~ Theodore Roethke