Earth teach me stillness
as the grasses are stilled with light.
Earth, teach me suffering
as old stones suffer with memory.
Earth teach me humility
as blossoms are humble with beginning.
Earth teach me caring
as the mother who secures her young.
Earth teach me courage
as the tree which stands alone.
Earth teach me limitation
as the ant which crawls on the ground.
Earth teach me freedom
as the eagle which soars in the sky.
Earth teach me resignation
as the leaves which die in the fall.
Earth teach me regeneration
as the seed which rises in the spring.
Earth teach me to forget myself
as melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me to remember kindness
as dry fields weep in the rain.
- John Yellow Lark
I found the poem as a wall print in a catalogue today. The print isn’t nearly as lovely as the words, so I’m adding my own photo here. Snapped this one yesterday on the way home from Kansas.
On the roadtrips I’ve been indulging in all summer I find myself thinking of all the ways the road and the trip are teaching me some kind of lesson for the future. Fitting, the road as teacher, the Earth as teacher.
“On this trip,” I’ll think to myself, “I’ve learned that distance and time fly by if I focus on the future.” Maybe that’s good, maybe that’s bad. Depends on what you need time and distance to do for you.
“On this trip,” I’ll think, during my next jaunt, “I’ve learned that what once seemed lost or not worth my time might yield something after all.” Nothing like a seemingly endless expanse of road ahead to make you never give up.
“On this trip,” I think during every one of my junkets, “I’ve soaked up enough sunlight that I hope to draw upon it when needed in the future.”
Thank you, roads, for all the lessons.