Karen L. Oberst - Poetry - Of Mountains and Us

Of Mountains and Us
by Karen L. Oberst

Out my living room window I see
Hogback Mountain -
Steady and solid, always there
Steadfast, dependable,
Its heart unchanged
Even as the seasons touch its surface.
The snow of winter, green growth in spring, the brown of summer
Do nothing to change the contour, the mountain itself.

Out my living room window I see
The homes of my neighbors,
Also looking solid and unchanging
Except for the seasons -
Flowers to snow and back again.
Yet they are young as the mountain counts time;
And only seem unchanging by constant care.
One year's neglect and they would be derelict.
Five years, ten - how many till they simply fell down,
Leaving Hogback to brood over the ruins?

Inside my living room I see
Not solid. Not unchanging.
Seasons change me permanently -
Not like the houses or the mountain.
If I look back a year or five or ten
I see a different person -
Always growing older.
To a mountain, my lifespan's as short as a flower.


When I look inside myself I see
The real me.
Not solid and unchangeable as a mountain - no!
Not artificial either, like a man-made structure -
But alive. Changing, yes - always changing
Like seed to plant, like caterpillar to butterfly - changing;
Becoming more and more myself.

A mountain exists a long time -
Longer, much longer than I.
But it cannot change itself.
It's not meant to change itself.
My house, my body - they may only grow older.
But myself - my true self
Need not become old.
It can do anything. Become anything.

God is like the mountain
Always there, always solid, always dependable.
But God is also the creator,
Bringing life and change
To the seasons; to my soul.
My heart cries out to God's wildness
It laughs and sings as it reaches
For life, for growth, for more.
And it bursts the bonds of smallness
To germinate, to metamorphose, to soar…
To be resurrected.

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