© Nanda Jurela, Muskrat Lake, August 2011
What you give is what I need.
This dawn is calm,
the water slow and cool to my ankles.
You welcome me to be with you.
I belong to you, without fighting for it.
Tiny fish move along my feet in the lake,
and I am overcome by compassion for the waters.
I will remember this day.
I want to paint the late summer flowers,
the spectrum of fine and exuberant petals
in the awakening grass,
the seagulls that teach me what community is,
the morning sky, a teal canvas
with bold brush strokes, the clouds of yellow and steel blue,
– this air that is breath,
this breath that is life,
this life that is yes –
the tender butterfly, psyche in Greek,
that tells me that I too am a transition into beauty.
Earth, you teach me what I need to know as a parent,
how to make a child thrive.
Everything I see on you is your child,
craving and needy for you.
You fill every need.
We all live because of you.
You teach me what it takes to keep a lover,
how to make a bond healthy, solid, a perpetual discovery,
because that is how you keep me –
healthy, strong, and fascinated.
Fruit are so delicious in the peak of summer.
Everything tastes great to the hungry.
I could not want more.
And when I go for seconds,
you don’t make me feel like a thief.
You say, ‘What do you mean by thief?
I am here to love you
and build you,
to make you last,
to make you lead
because you are one of mine.’
Earth, you spoil me with love.
You don’t demand that I wean myself off
another sweet talker.
You show me something better –
sweetness that goes beyond the tongue,
sweetness that spills from the heart
inside your sons
who are close to you.
In your secure love,
bewilderment becomes obsolete.
I am treated like an equal.
So is everyone else.
I am just luckier than everyone else
because I woke up to your love
that is real,
for as long as I live,
and I deserve it because I was born to you.
I am so grateful
for all that you reveal to me,
for how you renew me,
for how you touch me with endless kindness,
for how you fill me with beauty
that demands nothing,
for how you infuse a rich, high joy
that has no price
into us all,
for how alive you make me feel.
Everything is held together by your love.
I let myself fall backwards,
in awe of you,
loving you back.