To be a rock.
Or a tree.
To flex with the wind in continuous interplay.
Simultaneously stretching into the ground and up to the firmament.
Leaves articulating contact with the ether,
but each willing to drop to the ground
when its time has come,
nurturing the earth in return.
Each species of tree, each specimen its own flavor of beingness.
Have you listened—
with your ears, yes, but also with your body?
I find they convey their wisdom gladly.
A favorite cottonwood seared by lightning.
Suffering, I’m sure.
But no “Oh shit, what now?”
No “Why this?”
Just ongoingness and thankful healing.
Last time I was on a drive, years ago,
I came upon a perfect specimen of a pinon.
Symmetrical, full, brilliant and shining.
Its neighbor was misshapen,
improbably scratching its living
from a crack in a rock.
One better than the other?
No, these trees were absolute equals,
each silently humming their enthralling tunes.
Or, how about a grove of trees
connected underground, a community.
To lie amongst them, accepted temporarily into their wholeness;
what a gift.
No, I will not be convinced other species are unaware, or less evolved.
I reject the human story that we are at the top of some hierarchy,
the pinnacle of evolution, creation, consciousness.
We humans have our own gifts.
I revel in our beautiful creations and acts.
And I despair over our careless destructions.
The latter have sometimes led me to wonder if in fact
we might be an aberrant species,
like a cancer, something gone awry.
I was born with a second set of eyes behind the ordinary ones.
Were you? Please tell.
Through those eyes I see that everything
gently purrs with aliveness and awareness,
even “inert” man-made objects.
All of one fabric.
What bliss to be dissolved into that weaving.
As a child my second set of eyes saw adults with great tenderness.
I saw their minds ensnared in thoughts and beliefs;
overlooking the vibrant substrate.
Couldn’t they see all was okay?
Then I became one of those adults.
I too began seeking mental constructs as protection from pain,
from the vast unknown.
I look back on this as a sad induction into the challenges of human life on earth,
and the mind-driven world of my society.
Are our stories both a gift and a curse?
One moment I am in love with them all,
mine, yours, those everywhere.
I am dismayed to be cut off from them.
I’m a relic, with little notion of what’s au courant!
The next moment, I am unspeakably weary of all our mental products.
I wonder what they do as they swarm the planet.
Do they choke the wisdom of other beings?
My brain, riddled by pathogens and human-created toxins
now wildly churns out more than its fair share
of thoughts on several channels at once.
Some are outright ugly.
I touch the earth when I can.
I apologize, planet, if my thoughts are harmful to you and your creatures.
I kick a beach-ball globe of you
down the hall to signal I have
finished drinking my liquified dinner.
I confess sometimes I feel aggression when I do so.
Does that hurt you?
Do you sympathize?
I sense you are angry too.
I do hear about your powerful earthquakes.
Your anger strikes me as holy.
Perhaps mine is too.
But when I think the universe should be run differently,
This question stops me cold:
How would I run things if I were omnipotent?
How would you, reader?
Originally composed for Palabras's official Website by Molly Hunt.