Friday, May 13, 2011

Care Takers:Ode to Leadership Wyoming Graduates

I wrote the poem "Care Takers" when I participated in Leadership Wyoming, a wonderful program that many Wyoming leaders and future leaders participate in. Since I just viewed a picture of George McIlvaine, one of my heroes, graduating from the Leadership Wyoming class of 2011, I thought I would re-publish this poem for all Leadership Wyoming graduates and future graduates.

Care Takers…
Darrel Hammon

Rising high and majestic above the looping Snake River
loom the Tetons, full, craggy, sharp, stoic, beautiful.
From their crevices and hidden springs run tributaries,
gurgling their way from snowy outcrops and sloping ravines,

meandering toward the Snake and the mighty Pacific.
For a moment, each of us perches on the top of our peak,
staring down into the valley below and beyond.
Our thoughts and knowledge flow from us,

taking our gifts that we keep sacred yet share freely,
mixing them with others through the flow of water,
clear, clean, vibrant, confluencing downhill
or on the flat, growing larger and stronger, giving

life to the parched lands and clamoring minds around them.
From a single point on the mountain, we rise as one;
and as we head downstream, our oneness joins
with others’ oneness, and we still are one—

in thought, in deed, in wisdom, in purpose, full of gathering
and congregating our enormous wealth
of life’s gifts to share with others as we saunter
into the meadows, through lush grasses and plains—

service to our churches, service to our communities,
service to those most in need, service to our neighborhoods,
service to our families, service to ourselves.
In time, our memories remain, multiple and diverse,

filling the streams with turning conversations,
emotions that run deep, singing , perhaps even humming,
the covenant  that we make to ourselves and others
on the playground or on swings in the deep night

or on the soft leather sofa in our office
or in the gondola, chugging slowly to the top
or even in early morning shadows among quaken aspen:
“If you are part of a place, you take care of it.”

It is no wonder as we stand on our pinnacles,
far above the valley yet one with it,
we sense who we are, whose we are—
for we are one, focused and committed to serve.

Darrel L. Hammon
September 2007

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