Along Jordan Trail


With the sun high
And the house
Feeling more like a cage
Due to endless paperwork
That nipped at my consciousness
Like a bitchy dog,
I set out for Jordan Trail.

Against the mountains of Sedona,
I started off,
My mind letting go of
The empty world of reports
The empty world of deadlines
And other foolishness.

The trail uneven, my feet now
Uncomfortably accustomed
To a world of flat and level surfaces,
I contemplated walking sticks.

I had sent a pair to my son.
I had a pair in Pennsylvania
Too long to pack, even when
My hands and legs missed
Those past companions
As I hiked alone.

Rapidly, my mind
Started figuring ways
To send a pair to Tempe
So that I would have
A pair out West
While I continued building
Another part of my life.

And, then I saw it
Leaning against the tree;
The most perfect stick
The most perfect staff
Along Jordan Trail.

I received this gift,
Embracing it as my stride
Lengthened and the my confidence grew;
How quickly I now embraced the mountains
How quickly I now embraced the trail
As stick and I became one.

My mind, it raced
At my agility and renewed spirit
In the dry desert air and sun
As I meditated and walked
In time with the timeless land,
Wood clicking a rhythm against rock.

Stick in hand
I recalled an earlier time
Decades ago
When I found another stick
Along Pine Creek
And made it mine,
Even decorating it with old pieces
Of boot leather.

Might I take this very one back to the house
And celebrate this miracle of abundance
Beyond happenstance and desire;
A triumph of seizing what was to make what is
Now mine for evermore?

I asked the mountains
I asked the sky
I asked the sun;
They laughed and told me
That the stick belonged not to me
Not to the mountains
Not to the sky
Not to the sun
But to Jordan Trail.

Amused by my folly
I thanked The Universe for its gift
And at trail’s end leaned that staff
Along its tree
For the next traveler.


Copyright (c) 2016 by John David Higham: All Rights Reserved

Photo: A Gift from The Universe (Jordan Trail, Sedona, AZ: September 2016)

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