Where hills stand like gods
Wreathed in worshipful mist,
A veil of heaven's silken vapor
Brushed by the breasts of Earth.
Where the waters of Earth's blood
Spring forth from Her navel,
And Her children float free
Over Her Mystery.

The Pennsylvania hills were monolithic gods with clouds at homage obscuring their deities within the veil of worship.

The mists in the Pennsylvania hills seemed to promise rain but never delivered.  The view from the farm on the mountainside was like looking out upon a forest as the European settlers would have seen, and evoked the same sense of wonder and desire to take root.

Of course the high tension lines could detract from the scene if they were allowed to intrude upon the idyllic vista…

I think that’s a clause in the contract of life.

Where I learned to smoke a pipe was a utopia of nature.  No matter that man intruded, no matter the beasts he brought, no matter the boughs he broke, the land was as it had been since before his birth and would remain so long after he departed.  Primal, primeval — cliché compared to the reality.  Natural, eternal — despite the best attempts by her visitors to render her otherwise, so she remained.  And when these guests were departed, there would again be giant forests and pristine waters — even should their departure be heralded by the unquenchable flames of their most infernal machines of holocaust.

How could anything so endurable be brought to its knees?  And how could we do it?

Ask the neighbor who cuts down a tree in another’s yard out of spite.  Ask a man who feels hatred for another without knowing his face or the faces of his fathers.  Ask the leaders whose agendas bear resemblance to the ravings of those most mad.  There is the quest for destruction; there is the geas of the Opposer.

But for now, the land bides its time.  Unhindered, growth will return.  Unencumbered, the land recovers.  Even the thirst of the suns released upon the Mother of All Known Life will slake one day.  Then there will be new life — which is the way of things.  And always has been.

When the wars began it seemed a documentary of some distant catastrophe.  What suffering I witnessed seemed so far removed from my reality that I thought myself a dreamer in a sea of fantasy, very dark fantasy.