William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Mountain Madman

While walking early this morning I remembered that John Muir once wrote about how the giant conifers in the high mountains of California rejoiced in storms. He knew, because he was out among them when the primitive, savage breath raged upon the peaks, across the waters, and through the meadows, glens, and canyons. His words were a lesson — as resistance would have been far more destructive to these great trees, so it is with us; to survive, we must bend, and to thrive, we must let the wind pass through our branches, and cleanse us of our dead needles and twigs — whatever we cling to, the tired thoughts, beliefs, and habits that make us inflexible as we live and age. And once again I asked myself which I would rather be — a thousand-year-old mountain madman rejoicing in the storm, or a stiffened pole plastered with no trespassing signs? I knew the answer, of course, and filled my lungs with fresh, moist air.

December 26, 2020


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