There are things we believe. Things that ground us. Things that hold us close–more than we can ever hold them. Things divine, that reflect our inner light; things that tap into and reveal who we really are, that embody what it means to truly live. Things that are infinite, timeless, and eternal.
The great Jim Harrison captures the essence of such things in his poem “I Believe,” from the collection “In Search of Small Gods.” I reread this poem other day, and started pondering what it is that I Believe. Jim’s thoughts, then my own:
I Believe by Jim Harrison
I believe in steep drop-offs, the thunderstorms across the lake in 1949, cold winds, empty swimming pools, the overgrown path to the creek, raw garlic, used tires, taverns, saloons, bars, gallons of red wine, abandoned farmhouses, stunted lilac groves, gravel roads that end, brush piles, thickets, girls who haven’t quite gone totally wild, river eddies, leaky wooden boats, the smell of used engine oil, turbulent rivers, lakes without cottages lost in the woods, the primrose growing out of a cow skull, the thousands of birds I’ve talked to all of my life, the dogs that talked back, the Chihuahuan ravens that follow me on long walks. The rattler escaping the cold hose, the fluttering unknown gods that I nearly see from the left corner of my blind eye, struggling to stay alive in a world that grinds them underfoot.
I Believe by coffeeandwoodsmoke
I believe in second chances, chinook winds coaxing spring green haze from winter slumber, frozen clouds of horses’ exhalations hanging still in frosty morning air, the whistle of a distant train, lonely harmonica strains, long walks with dogs along creeks flush with snowmelt, shed antlers, driftwood, a wisp of woodsmoke curling to the sky, split rail fences, salmon upstream swimming, deer fawns nestled in tall grass prairie, the intoxicating scents of crushed Labrador tea, the balm of Gilead, the desert after a rain; tussocks of tundra, cloud forms dancing, sunrises and moonsets, fireflies blinking beneath black velvet sky awash in billions of diamonds, spinning, circling, as embers in the campfire wink out and we sleep under open skies. I believe in an awakening, a time when those fluttering unknown gods no longer struggle to survive but are honored, revered; when mountains are no longer just mountains but edifices imbued with the spirit of bear, the presence of wolf, the song of the sandhill, the medicine needed to heal the human soul.
I also believe in the cycle of the four seasons, and today, the summer and cool drinks sipped in the shade.
Beet Lime Cooler
Ingredients: 2 small beetroots (~130 g) 3 small carrots (~75 g) 2 stalks celery 1/2 large cucumber handful parsley 1 lime, peeled 1/2″ knob ginger