On some maps “estuary,” on others “lagoon.”
Isn’t this where the conflicts begin, in maps
and language, semantics and word choice?
Isn’t this where the warring begins,
in denial of common waters and sacred ground,
as if water and land could truly be owned
or sold, apportioned to victors or buyers?
We are mere custodians, and we are failing.
What, exactly, is human nature? Yes.
Is war in our nature? No; war is a choice,
a narrative marketed and sold. Human
activities in bulk constitute a war on nature,
a war on the very underpinnings of life,
a war ultimately on ourselves.
Which is most important, nature or nurture?
Let me tell you a story: nature nurtures me,
serves as counterpoint to my struggles
with low self-esteem and despair,
longing and belonging. I could be wrong.
Lagoon or estuary — you know my preference —
this is where it all begins for me now:
the meeting and commingling of fresh
and salt waters, secret histories jostling
for daylight, the cycles of histories,
conflicts, and wars. The warring continues
everywhere. In myself, too: between
self-esteem and despair, desire and repair.
I am comforted by ecstasy and reverence
and by the knowledge of death’s certain
and confident approach.
But I’m not afraid. Why be afraid?
Death is and always has been
part of life. Warmongers and those
who profit by war would have us
believe this of war, too.
But war isn’t and has not been
part of life, not always. War must end,
and war will end. On some blessed day
in the future, peace will prevail on earth.
Our descendants will be astonished
at how long it took, will be astonished
at the carnage and horrific waste.
Humans will have, and know, peace.
I know this. There is enough for all
of us, if we begin simply —
with this understanding — all water
and all land is a common trust,
and sacred. All life is sacred.
On some blessed day in the future,
Padden Creek will be daylighted,
will be unobstructed by manmade barriers.
Padden Creek estuary will fill and empty,
nourish and nurture as it always has.
Padden Creek estuary will celebrate.
Andrew Shattuck McBride
NaPoWriMo 2014 ~ Day 34