Monday, September 24, 2012

Prayer of the Woods

My wife and I enjoyed a camping trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in the northern part of Michigan's lower peninsula.  Here giant sand dunes cover a 60 kilometer stretch of Lake Michigan's eastern coastline as well as North and South Manitou Islands.  The glacial, sandy dunes tower as high as 460 feet above the lake and provide stunning vistas.

There are also beautiful hardwood, maple forests which were just beginning to turn into a palette of rainbow colours.  On one of our hikes we read this plaque:

Prayer of the Woods

I am the heat of your hearth on the cold winter nights,

the friendly shade screening you from the summer sun,
and my fruits are refreshing draughts quenching your thirst as you journey on.
I am the beam that holds your house,

the board of your table, the bed on which you lie,
and the timber that builds your boat.
I am the handle of your hoe,

the door of your homestead,
the wood of your cradle,
and the shell of your coffin.
I am the bread of kindness and the flower of beauty.

'Ye who pass by, listen to my prayer: Harm me not.'