Pursuing the Horizon

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I saw a man pursuing the horizon;
Round and round they sped.
I was disturbed at this;
I accosted the man.
“It is futile,” I said,
“You can never —”

“You lie,” he cried,
And ran on.

~Stephen Crane

Never give up, even if what you pursue eludes you.

It seems near enough to touch, yet the closer you get, it stretches out to infinity. Keep reaching, keep after it, don’t let it get away.

Though the horizon can’t be captured or embraced, it is always there before you anywhere you go. It finds you and shines down on you.

Celebrate the chase. Allow yourself to be captured by the magic.

 

A Sourceless Light

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Some ask for the world
and are diminished
in the receiving
of it. You gave me
only this small pool
that the more I drink
from, the more overflows
me with sourceless light.
~R.S. Thomas  “Gift”

 

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A silence slipping around like death,
Yet chased by a whisper, a sigh, a breath,
One group of trees, lean, naked and cold,
Inking their crest ‘gainst a sky green-gold,
One path that knows where the corn flowers were;
Lonely, apart, unyielding, one fir;
And over it softly leaning down,
One star that I loved ere the fields went brown.
~Angelina Weld Grimke “A Winter Twilight”

 

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I am astonished at my thirstiness
slaked by such simple things
as a moment of pink,
a burst of birdsong,
the softness of fluff about to let go,
a glimpse of tomorrow over the horizon of today.

 

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A Wider Horizon

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October is the fallen leaf,
but it is also a wider horizon more clearly seen.
It is the distant hills once more in sight,
and the enduring constellations above them once again.
~ Hal Borland

I bid October good-bye reluctantly
to face forward into the November darkening .
Morning and evening chores with flashlight in hand,
I follow its bouncing beam down slick farm paths,
merging with surrounding shadow.

Summer is mere memory now;
all color drained from
leaves fallen, dissolving
in frost and rain.

When the light rises on the hills,
I feel a veil lift enough
that I am able to see
so far beyond my reach.
The horizon extends on and on forever
and I will endure another winter.

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Horizon and Orison

282257_4347339793967_421152763_nphoto by Josh Scholten

photo by Josh Scholten
photo by Josh Scholten

I return to the ground its original music.
It will rise out of the horizon
of the grass, and over the heads
of weeds, and it will rise over
the horizon of men’s heads.
As I age in the world it will rise and spread,
and be for this place horizon
and orison, the voice of its winds.
I have made myself a dream to dream
of its rising, that has gentled my nights.
Let me desire and wish well the life
these trees may live when I
no longer rise in the mornings
to be pleased with the green of them
shining, and their shadows on the ground,
and the sound of the wind in them.
~Wendell Berry from “Planting Trees”

A tree is a prayer that begins
like a small seed
falling from our lips,
tentative with need.

–a word of thanks
a moment of praise
a tear from grief
a plea for grace–

Unsure if it will land
on receptive soil
with sufficient light
or sprinkling
to quench its dryness.

An answered prayer, like a tree,
takes hold
roots burrowed deep
held fast
filling to fullness
to grow higher in
blooming profusion
that reaches the sky,
awaiting the wind’s touch.

Our prayer, like a tree,
planted on fertile soil,
will someday yield
its gifts and blessings
of fruit and shade,
to rise beyond the horizon
and reach past our last
Amen.

photo by Josh Scholten
photo by Josh Scholten

photo by Josh Scholten
photo by Josh Scholten