Haiku Today 2015.03.30 —

Tropical forest in the morning by Roberto Verzo
Image credit: Roberto Verzo

morning cup
steams primal promise:
wake me up


The Pacific Northwest — I think I left a part of myself there last Summer. I remember the long drives through Montana, the winding mountain roads going through Utah, and the towering landscape that greeted us when we entered what may be the most fertile and untouched area of this country. As we forged our way to the coast, the unbelievable greenery kept getting more unbelievable; and then it reached a point where I realized that this place was special to me before I had ever set foot in it . . .

As though it had been calling to me all along.

The lush, coastal regions of the world were the cradles of human civilization — where the Earth afforded mild climes, easy access to water, and thus easy access to fish and wild game. They are the places where we learned to make fire; to distill fresh water from the ocean; the places where we first made laws so that disparate families could interact amicably; the places where we built our first monuments — acts of gratuity to the unknowable forces that bring us our good fortune.

This is the source, and I felt it when we stepped out into the forests of Washington state.

When I left Detroit to move to North Dakota, it was on a whim; I just had to get out of there. It turned out that leaving the city behind — the never-ending cascade of cities that melded one into another, the sprawling grey goo of the 20th Century — had never felt so good. Waking up under the wide-open sky, I felt like I had hit the reset button; so my life began anew with hit points at max. It was a clean feeling, like I had been cleansed of much dirt that had built up over the course of my life.

The closer we got to the coast last Summer, the more this feeling evolved . . . escalated into one that felt like a vast connection to the whole world itself. When I stood in the Oregon surf watching the waves roll in, it was like I was looking off the edge of life itself into the void, and the rhythmic, non-stop pounding of the ocean was an echo of something deep within.

Somehow by comparison everything else seems drab, and often the hype would have us believe that this world — the true first world of civilization — is fading with each passing day; yet it’s there, and it’s vital. It’s home to what may be the world’s largest and oldest organism. It’s possible that it will continue to fade . . . but what if we left it alone, or even found a way to let the forests return? As in all of them?

For the moment I dream, a dream bordering upon scheme, that one day I will wake up to find a steaming cup of that oasis at the edge of the world waiting right outside of my window, and that it had been waiting there the whole time.

(Header image by Alan Levine)


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