An Old Man’s Rumination

I want to walk in the Redwoods. One more time. Down that trail, behind the locked gate to the valley little known and little visted with those stout tall trees. The valley the rangers told us about. So green, so alive.
I want to see again the rocky southern coast of Oregon, the creatures that make life in the tidal zone.
I want to see that beach in Bandon Oregon where an old man and his volunteers rake an elaborate labyrinthe in the sand, washed out with the tide, then raked in again the next day.


I want to hike in the Yoemite Valley, up the trails to falls.


I want to walk the flowered meadows of Mt Rainier and the meadow North of Mt. Baker.


I want to ride the funicular up to Murren, hike the meadows above Lautenbrunner Switzerland and hear the cowbells again. See the Jungfrau across the valley. Visit the waterfalls I missed then.


I want again to glide on a ferry through the placid water of Alaska’s inland passage past trees with sentinal bald eagles and waters alive with humpback whales.


I want to look again at the now 100 year old rural schoolhouse that was across the road from us all those years of growing up. In front of it this kid sold strawberries to passing travelers each sunday in season.


I want again to visit Chartres cathedral with its windows of light.
I want to be in the top of the Eiffel tower and see again the City of Lights.
I want again to look out from that tiny hotel room across the Seine to the extravagance of Notre Dame then to the right to that humble chapel Eglise St. Julien the Pauvre.


I want to see again the happy people of Kirkenes, high above the Arctic Circle enjoying ice cream in the summer sun.
I want to see again the Coast of Norway with its fjords and islands and wonder which were homes to my ancestors.


I want to see my grandchildren grow up, build their lives and families as their parents have done.
I want the love of my life to go on, this blessed woman, her heart, her determined kindness and wisdom. This house, it’s memories, it’s views.

And this, from the poet,

“Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the day.”

—————Dylan Thomas

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