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Frogs in the Wood by Brian Patten

how good it would be to be lost again,
night falling on the compass and the map
turning to improbable flames,
bright ashes going out in the ponds.

and how good it would be
to stand bewildered in a strange wood
where you are the loudest thing,
your heart making a deafening noise

and how strange when your fear of being lost has subsided
to stand listening to the frogs holding
their arguments in the streams,
condemning the barbarous herons.

and how right it is
to shrug off real and invented grief
as of no importance
to this moment of your life.

when being lost seems
so much more like being found,
and you find all that is lost
is what weighed you down.

William Wordsworth

…For I have learned
To look on nature, not as in the hour
Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes
The still, sad music of humanity,
Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power
To chasten and subdue. And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean, and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man:
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things. Therefore am I still
A lover of the meadows and the woods,
And mountains; and of all that we behold
From this green earth; of all the mighty world
Of eye and ear, both what they half-create,
And what perceive; well pleased to recognize
In nature and the language of the sense
The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse,
The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul
Of all my moral being.

We had a tire swing when I was a child. I used to get sick (and still do) from the motion of it. But I loved the feeling of air rushing over me so much that I would still swing until I couldn’t anymore and would have to lay in the grass under the tree to recover.

My life feels like I am still on that tire swing. I swing between hope and despair, between appreciation of the beauty and disgust for the ugliness that I see reflected in human choice and action, between trust and fear, between peace and restlessness, between feeling rejected and feeling accepted, between hatred and love. It still makes me sick, this constant motion.

But I feel like I (and all of us) am in process. The feeling of wind is the reassurance that I am moving, or perhaps just that I am alive.  And sometimes I have to remember to take a moment to just lay in the grass and be still.

“Unfortunately for the hopes of us involved, we can’t expect anything of you. You haven’t signed on or agreed to anything, but we hope that for now our encouragement might be one of the things that can help to give you hope and resolve to continue to fight. We know it’s not the answer, but we believe that it’s a step and we hope that you will join with us in these small steps because we believe that they will make a difference.”

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