While we were recently immersed in the wonders of Yellowstone National Park, which I learned was originally known as Wonderland, I came across this poem by Dawna Markova. It so resonated with me in the midst of such beautiful and vast space that came into being due to the foresight of those who would promote its preservation for the public.
“I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance,
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom,
and that which came to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit.” — by Dawna Markova
I recognize that I perhaps give too much credit to those who made a case for the park, as they were also looking for aggrandizement for themselves. Nathaniel Pitt Langford was described by Yellowstone historian Lee Whittlesey as always seeming “to be standing close to the till.” The author of Myths and Legends of Yellowstone reported “Langford was an ambitious man whose vision of exploiting he area for his own financial gain was shared by many, especially the men who ran the Northern Pacific Railroad.”
Nevertheless, their efforts have resulted in a park that continues to draw visitors who avail themselves of the opportunity to witness the magnificent mountains, the fascinating geysers, the abundant wildlife. We were also astounded by the young guides who so clearly loved the park and felt so privileged to live and work there.
May we be bearers of hope, the “wait staff” of Hope’s Café for each other and all those we encounter. Shalom, Kate
Hope’s Café Bonus: “The wonder of the world, the beauty and the power, the shapes of things, their color, lights and shade. These I saw. Look ye also while life lasts.” — From an old gravestone in Cumberland, England