My Old Friend

The seasons do more than simply change,
here in my mountain home.
Spring is giving way to summer, but each time round
now brings a subtle signal that all is not well
with the world that I have always known.
Each summer is hotter, dryer, and longer.
Each spring and fall are shorter.
Each winter brings less snowfall.

There are micro-cycles and macro-cycles
in the ever flowing Way of life.
The micro-cycles I can flow with.
The macro-cycles are more difficult.
Each, of course, is circling according to its nature.

Just as I wish my body were still forty-five,
so I wish the Earth were still the
gentle, healthy, and dependable self it used to be.
But we are both changing, my old friend Earth and I.
Neither of us can go back to what we were.
We can only go ahead to what we will become.

It won’t be the same will it, my friend?
We are both going somewhere we have never been before.
I can’t save you and keep you as you used to be,
nor can you save me and keep me as I was.
But we can both take comfort
from our long friendship,
When I finally return to be with you
in union once again, we will go on
and find out together what is next.
Thank you, my old friend.

Author: William Martin

Taoist teacher and consultant

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