The path we choose makes all the difference

A message of despair — or was it something else? — defaced the entrance to a nature trail.

Sense of Decency

An inviting path into the woods was made ugly by racist graffiti at a trailhead last year. Photo © Dennis Harrod.


At a trailhead leading to a path through woods and fields

flush with late summer’s abundance of gold and green,

where the wind rustled leaves and shook a few loose,

and a scent of fall hinted at what was to come, someone

had scrawled a message of despair meant to harm any who read it,

or perhaps it was meant to please those filled with equal hate or fear

of people whose color or sex or beliefs were different.

And despair spread in stomach-turning waves, especially

in all of those targeted by the message, who had come to spend

time in the woods, and in the fields, hoping to freely breathe the forest air.

A woman lately arrived in the community came to the trail

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    1. Dennis raises a key question — what do we do with the hurt we’ve been given or brought on ourselves? Do we “share” it, or try to reduce it in ourselves and in others? That seems to be the crux of the crisis we’re in. I guess it’s nothing new, but it’s in our faces more frequently these days.

      Liked by 1 person

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