Delicate Arch, Utah
Hiking to see for ourselves, we learn
once again why pilgrims journey by walking.
The steady rhythm of left and right
reassures us. And the gravel of the trail
becomes those places in our minds
we keep climbing over
and over again.
The work of the walking
is our offering,
and our purification
as, step by step,
we lift the questing in our hearts
closer to the source of wonder.
Irrelevancies slide away like sweat.
The walking reminds us of balance,
and the sheer drop-ff by the edge of the trail
is our own death walking beside us.
We lift our expectancy like an empty plate;
and abundance of beauty
fills it again and again.
This world is so huge,
and our place in it so precise.
Eventually there is nothing but
walking and pondering.
Climbing higher with the other pilgrims
and with a sense of all tribes returning
to the place of creation,
we round a bend, and there--
an impossible leap of stone,
a petrified gasp of wonder,
orange-red, arching through the bluest desert sky,
a stone mudra, gathering light,
parabolic angel bones
framing distant snowy peaks.
All the living beings of this earth
pass under the pubic arch
of our common mother.
And she is right here.
True to her nature,
she lets no one depart empty--
Through the great opening
comes a whisper of blessing
or a glimpse that opens
the eyes of the eyes.
We know that when we turn
the trail will lead us back
into our daily lives, walking,
striving for balance,
practicing the rhythm of left and right,
but touching a thread
that leads through the eye of the needle.