She said to go depth,
find my place in the deep of things,
travel down, down to the canyon bottom,
feel those granite walls, majestic, decorated in scraps of life,
and the smaller sky, swimming among the clouds,
covering me in my hidden abode.
There in that secret place,
find the windy arms to hold me
and the lanky sentinel trees to attend me
and the relentless river to laugh with me,
the green, gray, brown, black,
the smooth, flecked, dotted, rough, decaying,
branched, flat, spreading, creeping,
blooming, hungry, simple, burrowing,
chirping, mating, growing, calling beings
stirring me to the core of this moment,
calling out Life as it really is,
calling me to the essence of myself and this planet:
Life always seeking to break through, to connect,
to hold in mutuality.
See, this Love Dog crying to find my place
already has a place with a million beings
here to receive me.
I have a place with them
and this moment and the next
to learn — oh, let me learn, please, I beg
of my heart and God and every power that
can help me in this task —
to learn how to receive them.
Thank you to Laura Sewall, “The Skill of Ecological Perception,” Ecopsychology: Restoring the Earth, Healing the Mind, Ed. T. Roszak, M. Gomes, and A.D. Kanner, Sierra Club Books, San Francisco, 1995, and to Rumi (“Love Dogs”) for inspiration.