by Don Keefauver, UUF Hendersonville, NC
I used to lie awake at night listening to the rain
Only inches above my head
It is as though I am a part of the falling rain
It is not unwanted or intrusive
It is a part of my world, comforting
As I lose the sound while I sleep
Awakening to the first rays of the sun
Its rays streaking in through the window
Warming the crude cabin that is home
Dirt floor, gaps in the logs and cold morning
Growing up in the hills and forests
Expanding my sense of belonging
My world seemed to grow daily
And I along with it.
As the years went by
Disillusionment came and went
The world seemed at times
To be harsh and cruel
Floods, tornadoes, volcanoes
Fires, earthquakes and storms
Punctuated by the harshness
And cruelty of people
Wars, poverty, sickness
Greed, selfishness and dishonesty
Made me question the quality of life.
Retreating to the mountains
Forests and solitude
I sought solace and understanding
There was no voice to be heard
Or writing in the sky
But a new sense of appreciation
For life and death
Growth and destruction
While I idolized the serenity of nature
The beauty and wonder of it all
It, too, had its propensity for death
But death was not the end
It only promoted new life and growth
We, too, can die and give ourselves
Back to the earth to promote new life and growth
With appreciation for what we have been
And what we have shared
With this great earth that we call home
“Who knows but what the universe
Is unfolding as it should.”*
As we listen to the rain on the roof
The song of the bird
Look out over the mountains and seas
And know that we are a part
Of the wonder of it all
By being alive.
And even after we die.
We nourish the soil
And feed the plants
Trees, bushes
Fruit, nuts and berries
We still are a part of it all
We will always be a part
Of the wonder of it all
*Max Ehrmann’s  “Desiderata”