Monday, May 18, 2009

Wild Great Smoky Park

A week ago I visited the stunningly beautiful Great Smoky Mountain National Park, a place of incredible wildlife diversity, mature forests, and cascading streams. I felt that one of the streamside hikes I took was a metaphor for ascending a difficult mountain pass on a bike…or maybe even a metaphor for life itself.


It started quietly at first.
A slow meander.
Little focus
As it crawled through an ancient forest.

Then it gathered purpose
As it wound through folds in the Earth
It willed itself through
A deep scour in the ground.

At the crux of the ascent
It reached its peak of power.
Strait and focused.
It thundered over beaten rocks.

Higher upslope it branched apart.
The roar subsided to gentle but steady drones,
Little capillaries feeding a vein.

Toward the top the calm returned.
The roar had left.
Only whispers remained.

Then it was gone
As if it was never there at all.
Vapor in a blue sky
Streaming back to the basement of time.

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