Lichen on San Joaquin River Gorge Trail

Lichen on San Joaquin River Gorge Trail

Reflection on aging.   Must we accept our culture’s narrow version of loveliness, or might we look to define and value it more along the  lines of nature’s paradigm of  pleasing and “pretty”?


Nature Beauty.

Such extravagance.

How did brilliant, ocher sun-tones,

Most at home in atmospheric heights,

Find a way to loamy terra firma where

Undaunted, its velvety patina cloaks this granite shard

In coral carapace?


The human race,

Ardent adorers of untried youth

And beauty in first blossom blush,

Likes to define, categorize, and replicate beauty

In most narrow fashion.


What a shame.

Nature knows better.


Diversity, danger and the brevity of life,

Found within its realm,

Discourage such foolishness.

Consider our phosphorescent friend.

Few will see or admire her lustrous delicacy,

Or stop to honor such tenacity,

Drawing life from rock hard face.

Ageless, she thrives in both winter-wet and summer-dry.

For her, time is a friend

Offering space to expand,

Blithely illuminate and beautify.

It is not an enemy to outsmart and outrun,

As if one even could.


How is it that lady-lichen lowly

Perceives and possesses

A truth that we do not?

Were we not also made to blaze,

Unfurl warmth that dazzles as days pass?

Swell with stunning strength as seasons

Refine and Transform us,

That we might bring colorful cover

To our crusty world?


kpeterson    february 2013

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