Poetry: What we can glean from nature…and water

Literature. Blogging. Writing. Poetry. Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Ever since my parents-in-law bought a camper, my wife and I have followed them around the state of Michigan. In total, they have visited most nooks and corners of the state so far. It has given me a chance to see a lot more of the state, and I have so much more to compare to Northern-Michigan beauty, which I seem to idolize in the nostalgic space in my brain because the thoughts of fresh water, cold breezes, and deer on walking trails spiritually humbles me.

It’s toward the end of August now, and the end of the summer feels so much nearer than it did when my family and I were exploring different sites last month and the month before. We are visiting another campsite today, and it might be our last for the year as general busyness and school ramps up. While it makes me a little sad, this year has provided many good memories and gives me something to look forward to for next year.

Of course, when I can snap a decent picture—like the one on this page—poetry always comes to mind, and the transcendentalists are all about that sort of thing. Enjoy this poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson because, much like rivers, water itself has a million stories to tell, and I think sometimes we must remind ourselves that nature has been here long before we arrived—and God forbidding—it’ll be here after we depart.

“Water” by Ralph Waldo Emerson

The water understands
Civilization well;
It wets my foot, but prettily,
It chills my life, but wittily,
It is not disconcerted,
It is not broken-hearted:
Well used, it decketh joy,
Adorneth, doubleth joy:
Ill used, it will destroy,
In perfect time and measure
With a face of golden pleasure
Elegantly destroy.

Works Cited

Emerson, Ralph Waldo. Water by Ralph Waldo Emerson – Poems | Academy of American Poets. 29 Aug. 2021, poets.org/poem/water-0.