contributed by Nathan Nielson, 44 year old, writer and director of books & Bridges, a liberal arts nonprofit organization


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during the previous several weeks I"ve to be drafting some thoughts I"ve had for a variety of years regarding the means we learn from nature and from various other people"s thoughts and writing. My humanities Moment is a poetic summary of a storage I had that was triggered by a city from Alfred Tennyson -- "Flower in the crannied wall." The moment when this poem, this memory, and this essay came together is an instance of the boundless and unpredictable infectiousness that operates in between the mental of people and also the objects and symbols the the herbal world. I define how the small flower in Tennyson"s poem prompts my very own memory that a little tree resiliently hanging onto its life in a canyon wall. If writing, this tree got more an interpretation for me once I addressed it in a personal way, virtually as if come both a teacher and also interlocutor. Prompted by Tennyson, I concerned see in this tree the definition and expression of human being life and also the nature the our battle in defying the forces that protest us and also bring us to despair. I created this essay resembling the type of totally free verse, together I thought that to be the best way to convey the tone and intimacy that my humanities moment. My minute is about the multi-lateral connection that is kept by words and memory in between the past and the present, in between the organic world and the human world, and between human being minds separated by the centuries. A poem Remembered, a world Created I review a poem by Tennyson the other day. A really short poem. Only six lines: Flower in the crannied wall, I pluck you the end of the crannies, I host you here, root and all, in mine hand, Little flower—but if I might understand What you are, root and also all, and all in all, I should understand what God and also man is. sometimes a really short poem can capture the desire that the human race. This flower take it my mind to a tree I as soon as saw cultivation in a rock. Therefore I want to try what Tennyson did: little pinion growing in the cliff, how you hang, exactly how you droop, parch and slant. Just how you survive. I watch you crouch therefore high in ~ the sun, and also defeat that by your years. The needles of her humility still remain green. Every day you confront the fall. And also each job you cling to that sheer rock. The tranquility that city dwellers look for emanates no from you, yet only the repose that originates from fear. The ache of the wilderness speak in your sun-bleached bark. Without consolation is this heat. You maintain the mystery of existence and also give no assurance the nature is my friend. The grandness of her story is discovered in the scarcity of your speech. Words from you space dumb, remind me that ns am not house in this world. I must be moral in her presence. You dare also as girlfriend stick. The i of time, with its readjust and continuity, never escape her sight. You might tire that the cycles — the filling and also drying of the winding creeks, the wetting and also burning of the sand, or the traces of green, then yellow, the the trees and grass below. Yet you abandon them not. The hope you have actually comes only in these colors. Because that you do not see water itself. In you is that lengthy war against gravity, versus wind and the breaking of ice, against the fracture of rocks that choke a little much more of her soil each year. In friend is the an enig of striving. Something whispers that what God would certainly tell me he speak me v you. The clench of your roots teach me the the human being is not intended to disintegrate, however to fight, to withstand, come last. With each other we testify what will certainly adds unto nature. You room the ambition of our poetry, the conceit to capture an interpretation behind the surface. We require you to watch ourselves, and we need you to suggest us beyond ourselves. Little pinion, i speak to you in mine memory. When I witnessed you those decades ago, a seeds from your cone blew towards me and planted in mine heart. The seed has actually grown into a sequoia of significance. I had actually neglected you until I read a city by a male over the ocean, a man who lived in green and also did not know this arid west, nor these mountains of rock. His soft flower became the pluck of her pine.

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And also so across time and across this globe, the union between your kind and also mine has actually solidified. Prior to you to be a tree, however now you are a world.