Home Again
Alpaca (in background) take notice

Working away from the farm
for two weeks—
in the beautiful forested hills
of North Carolina and Tennessee—
with people who share their lives
in life-giving ways
was a rich experience,
for which I am grateful.
I was able to share with them
some of the things I’ve learned
about spirituality
and the natural world.
While there,
I became acutely aware
how attuned to
and immersed
I’ve become in the natural world.
I craved fresh air.
I sought moments outside,
and enjoyed the sharp call of the crow,
the silky buds of the Pussywillow,
the grandeur of a huge old Magnolia,
a whiff of Boxwood,
a small branch of lovely Quince—
blooming too early—cut,
brought in and set on a prayer table.

Arriving home again,
I hold in memory the beauties
of that time away,
and embrace
and seem to be embraced by
the wide-open, subtle rise and fall of the prairie.
Pacas and dogs and cats
take notice of my arrival and
—could it be my imagination?—
seem glad to see me.
I am thrilled to see them,
and the rabbits, chickens, guineas—
even rooster—
and the Goldfinches, Sparrows, Doves, Woodpecker,
Meadowlarks, Red-winged Blackbirds, Cardinals, Juncos
at the feeders.

And then Earth rolls up,
the sunlight fades
and the full bowl of sky turns black.
Stars glisten white in the clear air
and a quarter-moon glows brilliantly.
My heart seems about to explode.
Being away this time
helped me realize how profoundly
I’ve been shaped and influenced
by these last four-plus years
back on the prairie.