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Claude Monet Meadow with Poplars 1875

Meadow with Poplars, Claude Monet, 1875

With the gait of winter-weary bison I have
plodded these long days, foraging for
nourishment I’ve little hope to unearth on a dry,
spare plain. Where is the certainty that carried
me like playful breezes, bounding, leaping over
shrubs and through the greening opulence of
nascent growth? Now my tread is tenuous, as if
in doubt the land will bear my bulk. Once I had
wings. I was an eagle, self-possessed and
certain of my destination. Now I am scattered
like the sere grass of a meadow mown and
dried near dust by pounding suns. Once I was
swift. I was an antelope and joy propelled my
feet. Had I its fleetness now, I’d spring from field
to pond to freshet, stopping but to drink from
cold, clear streams and feast on the abundance
stretching from my toes to the horizon. Where,
Creator, has my expectation gone?

I pray, restore my mornings, God, and take
away the dread of night. Return to me the
lightness of a young deer, quick, alert, and sure
of step. May I be fearless now, head high and
noble, self-assured… and may I find you when
the darkness falls. Let me lie close beside you
then, your strength and wakefulness my sure


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