Friday, May 29, 2015

The Beauty of the Earth

The beauty of the earth lies in its variance - in dappled colors, shifting clouds, ebbing tides.  It is a contradiction of constant change.  There is no better reminder of this than traveling through forests, with sudden sweeping views of coast land.  My father and I paused very briefly in the Humboldt Redwoods State Park today (on our journey back to Seattle) and I found a magnet with an amazing poem to sum up the feelings left in my spirit under the canopies of such ancient creation.  And, most appropriately, it is by Joseph Strauss, one of the designers of the Golden Gate Bridge.

The Redwoods

Joseph B. Strauss

Here, sown by the Creator's hand.
In serried ranks, the Redwoods stand:
No other clime is honored so,
No other lands their glory know.

The greatest of Earth's living forms,
Tall conquerors that laugh at storms;
Their challenge still unanswered rings,
Through fifty centuries of kings.

The nations that with them were young,
Rich empires, with their forts far-flung,
Lie buried now-their splendor gone:
But these proud monarchs still live on.

So shall they live, when ends our days,
When our crude citadels decay;
For brief the years allotted man,
But infinite perennials' span.

This is their temple, vaulted high,
And here, we pause with reverent eye,
With silent tongue and awestruck soul;
For here we sense life's proper goal:

To be like these, straight, true and fine,
to make our world like theirs, a shrine;
Sink down, Oh, traveler, on your knees,

God stands before you in these trees.

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