Rattlesnake plantain roots and blooms here.
Small, smooth, silver-veined leaves of snakeskin
nestle intimately into rich humus beneath the shade of red cedar.
Her branches, the warm embrace of the mother, of forest-kin.
This mother tree welcomes all of me.
Kingfisher dives dramatically, rising dripping,
arrowing across glacier-fed lake to perch above,
calling in an enchanting rattle–
warning or greeting?
A familiar question.
The music of it calls me out of thought-depths,
out of doubt, of fear, out of lostness spiraling.
I am called into the senses of body–
this animal of pleasure and pain reclaimed–
known only to these hands and this heart,
by this mouth, this nose, these ears,
by this skin, this soul, this spirit, in this time.
Dreams of phantom lovers, mystery-seekers tame loneliness and loss.
Tears of praise fall onto the earth, rising to join gathering clouds.
Prayers whispered to the seedlings, to the fungi, to the ancestors.
Prayers sung from rocky mountain ledges into the unknown
future taking shape, circling, disappearing from view,
returning transformed on eagle wings.
I vow to cease the mad pursuit of happiness.
I vow to receive and release, freely, all emotion.
I vow to strive, not to be any one thing for too long–
to be instead, all things, in turn,
to be vivid, vibrant, brightness, darkness,
to be aliveness herself.