July 19, 2020

Poetry helps in times like these

The North Cascades Highway closes for most of the year due to snow, an amazingly beautiful drive over Rainy Pass and beyond, down into the Methow River Valley. One of Washington’s many glorious landscapes. At Washington Pass, a simple sign has this poem “A Valley Like This”. Several other sites along the Methow also have poems by Stafford. I find them comforting right now.

A Valley Like This
William Stafford

Sometimes you look at an empty valley like this,
and suddenly the air is filled with snow.
That is the way the whole world happened—
there was nothing, and then…

But maybe some time you will look out and even
the mountains are gone, the world become nothing
again. What can a person do to help
bring back the world?

We have to watch it and then look at each other.
Together we hold it close and carefully
save it, like a bubble that can disappear
if we don’t watch out.

Please think about this as you go on. Breathe on the world.
Hold out your hands to it. When mornings and evenings
roll along, watch how they open and close, how they
invite you to the long party that your life is.