Elk Speaks – For Andrew

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( Fire at Dawn Births Hope)

 

In the dream

the elk’s antler

was a tree made

of bone.

Silvery tines –

tongues of flame

hummed at dawn.

 

“Embodied Light.”

I would use these words,

if asked to describe

my young friend’s

personality.

But words fall short

of wonder.

 

Andrew is an artist

writing a story

into the land

with his hands.

She opens the gate

of his imagination

as he leans into her curves

Someday their collaboration

will change lives…

 

With stones, willows,

sand bags,

red dirt and

underground water

his vision apparent

to anyone who sees,

He demonstrates

through love

and architecture

that there are no limits

to sustainable

possibility.

 

Such pristine beauty –

Desert wilderness

stretches out

in every direction…

Water cascades

down his rounded hills

creating cause for celebration

mirrored by

flourishing trees

that will one day

bear more of his fruit

as well as their own.

 

Frogs and toads sing

love songs…

 

Birds cling to

Juniper snags,

Sage green bushes

thrive in winding arroyos

scent the air

when Cloud People come .

Wave – like cliffs

startle the sky.

 

I come away astonished

giving thanks for

Andrew, whose star – like vision

eclipses muddy waters…

No wonder he loves the Dawn.

Here is man who

supports the Earth

each creature and shrub

and this ‘old woman’

with his own hands.

 

No wonder that

I see in him

a majestic Elk

and a towering,

steadfast Tree…

 

 

Postscript…

 

Not too long after Andrew and I began to befriend one another, Andrew told me a story of how he ran into an elk, and emerged unharmed. Andrew expressed his dismay that the elk had died. I was struck by the incident because I have had a relationship with friendly elk at a local elk farm for more than twenty years (in Maine) where the animals were cherished and ran free over hundreds of acres that include a river. When I built my log cabin, I named her “Elk House” because elk have such a solid relationship with the Earth and yet their majestic (male) antlers reach towards the Sky…

 

I “ran into” Andrew who was selling fresh vegetables last summer at a little outdoor market that he initiated for the benefit of the community. There was an instant sense of feeling connected to this young man though I didn’t know him at all.

 

As our friendship began to develop I realized how unusual Andrew was. His kindness, honesty, integrity, and deep humility opened my heart. As an unapologetic (eco) feminist I was deeply drawn to his ethic and ability to work with others. Only later did I begin to see how this ethic extended to his love of, and ability to work with the Earth as her partner.

 

Here was a man who had learned how to be a man, a man whose ability to love, nurture, and protect were priorities, a man whose ability to work so well with others makes him a shining light and a powerful example for other men to follow – regardless of age – if only they would.

If more men chose this path we would live in a different culture, one where women (including ‘old women’), men, animals, plants, and every aspect of Nature is loved, appreciated, nurtured and respected…

In my eyes Andrew is the kind of human being who brings me hope that it’s really possible to topple the toxic and deadly edifice of Patriarchy… a culture that is destroying us all.

How grateful I am to call him my friend.

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