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Romping in the footsteps of an aging aborigine,
I cut through woods toward rain-swelled creek,
down and down and down,
into the hollow’s crease.

Entering the attitude of rushing creek and standing trees,
I scampered through the shallows, stepping rock to rock,
then hopped out on the bank and stood.
Still. Silent. Seeking
truth that might be carried
on the breeze or in the water’s song.

In the stillness and my silence
I felt the gaze of long dark eyes,
an apparition in the hill
across the creek from me,
hunkered down in stony contemplation.
His gaze was heavy, bearing weight of deep, deep history.

I listened very slowly to hear what he might say,
what truths might slip from rocky lips about
the deep connections held in stones there at my feet.
His silence left me space to ponder
birth of rocks, a shallow sea,
and corals waving, randomly.
All evidenced there at that creek.
I felt the beating of my heart, rooted in that history
and held in Sacred Mystery.

Perhaps I’ll come another day to sit in silence at his feet.

(Reflection and Photo: Bob Ernst, Plowshares Farm Center for Education and Spirituality)