These Mountains Listen

Visiting Mountains

The plains ignore us,
but these mountains listen,
an audience of thousands
holding its breath
in each rock. Climbing,
we pick our way
over the skulls of small talk.
On the prairies below us,
the grass leans this way and that
in discussion;
words fly away like corn shucks
over the fields.
Here, lost in a mountain’s
attention, there’s nothing to say.

~ Ted Kooser, Flying at Night (2005)


A short and sweet poem for this Monday. The leaves are changing colours, slowly but surely, and all around there are hints of fall in the air. Despite the temperatures here still being in the upper 70’s and even 80’s (crazy!), the evenings carry the promise of cooler temperatures. Sweater weather is around the corner.

This week, I’m looking forward to escaping to the mountains for a bit, to see the trees don their red and gold garments. It’s always bittersweet to see them all dressed up; I get that taste of inexpressible slight sadness that comes from the knowledge that this time won’t last forever. But for these next few weeks, I’ll try to enjoy all of it.

My thoughts are with those in NYC this week. Even when we can’t make sense of what is currently happening in this world (I know I can’t right now), some things stay constant – the beauty of the mountains, the changing of the leaves as fall approaches, and the promise of nature listening as we listen to it. I hope you have a wonderful week.



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