September 21, 2018
Photo by Barbara Klipper
A Poem by Hilde Oleson
I tell you every year how lucky we are
To live in this place of raw beauty.
How we are the fortunate ones who are close to nature,
Walk near, or even in the water.
Sometimes we feel we can walk on the water.
Nature is our friend, our benefactor.
It brings us nurturing, comfort in our sorrows.
It brings us peace of mind, wraps us in soothing mist
Each morning in a quick display of color.
Often we forget.
We forget who made this beauty that we take for granted.
We forget we do not own this land, this ragged spit of land
Signalling the end of our country. We can go no further.
There are times even Nature becomes exasperated at our carelessness. We have been given the use of all this land,
And sand, and water to complete our lives.
We cherish it, but we still take it for granted, use it, abuse it.
Wrapped in our own good fortunes we forget,
Drop junk upon its pristine shores,Build structures on its sand And walk away.
We live in a troubled world, where we do not trust the future Tears cannot wash our country clean.
Some pray, some cower in fear, some pretend to be brave.
Some go to Beech Forest where there is a kind of silence wrapping us. Migratory flocks of birds share songs,
Red squirrels fly from limb to limb, jubilant with life.
Others go to the ocean for their healing.
Those who listen to the water as it whispers on our shore Sometimes hear the warnings,
But mankind is selfish and want what we want
Not worrying if it fits natures plan.
So now and then nature loses patience with us,
takes things back.
We want to own this beauty, make it ours. We do forget That we must pay a price.
Storms rage, push, overcome
Throw back our sturdy concrete edges
Leaving us with one big mess, Broken houses, flooded underpinning
Remind us who really has the power.
Herring cove where many go to watch the sunset’s every night display, Lies broken like a shattered glass of wine,
Strangely its beauty not destroyed but changed.
Right after the high winds and punishing waves
It lay in beauty.
Broken shards in haphazard surprise. It took your breath away.
The beauty, the power, telling us who is in charge.
I did not see it in the raging storm, but afterward I was amazed
To find I am drawn back again and again.
To watch how strong it lies.
There are so many lessons there for us to learn. That beauty is not just
in lovely patterns laid with care but in the strength That overcomes destruction.
Our ways of adjusting to a different pattern.
That it is not just one way that is Right
That we with all our various lives can pick up the pieces Make new patterns with different allure
And find attraction in a whole new light.
Provincetown has endured many storms,
many changes, and continues to grow, to expand. It is our fortune to help it along its way.
This world is created in beauty, and also ugliness. We can still choose which we want to bestow.