I remember the days of old,
when I crossed the fields alone.
When I ran the forests;
when I ran the trails,
in those days of youth,
in those days of sun.
I remember the color of life.
Everything seemed different.
There was a brightness to the light;
a shine, to everything.
I remember hopping those fences.
Going to those hidden places,
to see what I could see.
Those secrets of the Elders.
That disobedient boy;
that boy who never sat still.
That boy who still disobeys;
that boy who is free.
Do you wanna know where I am?
I am in the deepest forest alone.
I am around a campfire of stone.
I smell that smoke, with a smile.
I am safe because God is with me.
That fire licks the dark air.
It drives the chill away.
I smile to know who I am.
The light flickers on the Oak trees;
orange, yellow dancing dark leaves.
I’m gone to another place;
another time, another realm.
Where cavemen looked at the fire.
Where thousands of warriors stared.
Where my ancient ones watched, and prayed.
That flicker, the brave and fugitive loved;
In that ring, where the elemental danced,
Not too long has gone;
just a blink of an eye.
A moment in the spirit,
where we all are one.
(Photograph from the Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois)