there to calm my spirit and rest my mind.
I walked a path first trod by buffalo, later by men
With arrows and sharp eyes,
then by others, pale of skin and hungry for land and freedom,
And some for power and wealth. These last found what they sought,
wrestled the coal from the earth, the trees from the air,
laying steel and building engines that belched black dust on green and clear.
The path is quiet now, traveled by others like me who seek the peace
of the forest, of water, of the music of birds and wind, leaves and stars.
The mountains forgave the rapists who ravaged them;
new growth covers old wounds.
I sought comfort and nourishment from these old mothers,
grieved the visible scars and yet
returned home grateful for what these mountains still offer to pilgrims like me
who cannot name the longing that pulls them to the hills.