Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Our True Country

We walked quietly through Fort Worden on Sunday, contemplating Memorial Day, and what's expected of us as citizens of our country, when something swift and bright caught my eye. What could possibly flit so quickly and energetically but a hummingbird? It landed on a tiny tip of a twig that extended off the dead branches of a madrone. We both tried to photograph the little thing, lost ourselves in the moment and were distracted from our somber mission.

Later when we arrived at Memory's Vault and took the time to read all the poems there, we found these few lines from a poem by Sam Harris called A Lover's Quarrel:

When I remember the sound of my true country,
I hear winds
high up in the evergreens, the soft snore
of surf, far off, on a wintry day,
the half-garbled song of finches
darting off through alder
on a summer day.

Lust does not
fatigue the soul, I say. This wind,
these ever-
green trees, this little bird of spirit--
this is the shape, the place of my desire. I'm free
as a fish or a stone.

It was then we remembered that discovering the sound of our true country has been our mission all along.

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