I have come here from Kansas,
having left the still brown landscape
of winter’s left over stems and stalks,
a flinching retreat of spring in the still-stinging cold
of an unexpected snow bruising the early blooms.
I rise on the first morning of the conference,
go to the window and look out
from two hundred feet above the street.
Beyond the glass,
out past the nearer sounds and shapes,
underneath long streaks of gray clouds,
between here and the blank banks of mountains miles away,
rivers of lights swirl and stream along the streets,
roads and highways
as the beginnings of another day
merge and mesh and mingle
and occasionally confirm that the rules of physics
are not often bent by the will of the impatient.
Beyond the noise and motion,
in the quiet gray that eases in against
the stone-bare chill of a distant ridge,
there is something that seems like the edge of time,
a place that welcomes the mind
to think of things that calm and quiet,
things of good and beauty,
things worthy of praise, even.
Things that speak to both heart and spirit,
an inviting nearness that brings both strength and soothing,
a readiness for moving into the next part
of this day the Lord has made,
no matter how far from the wide open space
of the familiar plains.