Some places we have known continue
to recognize us over a lifetime.
You know this because when you return
they speak your name and then
you recognize yourself, again. That person
you had forgotten about or thought
you had left behind when you travelled
so far away and so long ago.
When Point Pelee National Park met me again
she seemed happy to see me and was
interested in all the places I had visited while
I had been away. So much like the primal mother
she had been then, she was being that way again.
Without saying a single word it all spilled out:
this and this has changed, but this is still the same.
It meant so much that you had been there for me
when I was a young child, I told her, much more
than I realized at the time. Sheltering, comforting.
Giving me a sense of belonging I could not name.
I breathe in this deep sustaining feeling now
as though it is all that really matters.
In a moment I realize that It might even have been
right here that I first became rooted on this earth,
as I played on the water’s sandy beach
and made small disappearing footprints on the shore
and swam with a child’s innocence in the warm Lake Erie water.
Now that I am older and try to carry only what is necessary
I know for sure that, one day, when the clutter
of a lifetime of learning has been discarded or forgotten
what is essential will always remain: I am part of you.