Lake Del Valle

Breath is cold as I stare at my boots
Preparing for the inevitable
The mystic journey of my life
I am not ready for the once easy trek
Travels that took me far and wide
Without complication or trauma
Hills to cross and crosses to bear
Remains to be discovered of deer
That hunger for their young
Violet horns and golden hair sweep
Through the tunnels of destination
Wherever that will be for me
The road not clear as it once was
Feet not so sturdy or confident
Yet none of that really matters
Water is plentiful with fish of all kinds
Gathering to feed and renew their young
As I now also come to feed my soul
Lake of the Valley glistens
The moon crests upon its breast
Heaves and weeps to light the way
Wings dip into its shore and search
For answers and sustenance
To carry life to its end or more
Each toe in the sand kicks rocks
By accident discovering mouths
That need food, promises to fill
My hike exhausts at best
Exhilarates at worst and
Cleanses my soul eternally
Wind captures the Lake of the Valley
Trees mourn their loss as gusts force
Roaming grasses to bend and flow
I bend and flow, too, as I see life
Pass before me and beyond me
Yet I am here on this trail forever
The trail guides me to where I should be
Air, water, and earth sound their trumpets
I listen and my boots move forward

— Victoria Emmons, 2014