The Field of Belonging



The Field of Belonging

by Rich Nelson


Out beyond the field of belonging

In that quiet, solemn place

Where the bullfrogs sing, ancient harmony

Across bass clefs of starlight

I lie in wait, hoping

To catch a glimpse of my oncoming self

And leap in surprise, spinning

My frame back into proper place


It is there I met you, dear friend

The one who would tell me my true name

The one I knew I had all along

But had never been spoken to me

Not the name given, but the name received

As surely as any other gift of grace


As surely as any other gift of grace


Buoyed by trillium and white ash

I glided along unseen, peeking through

The dark wood of remembrance

The steep thicket of days, the unforeseen

Break giving way to meadow

Of light sourced a million miles away

A thousand years long past

All assembled for just this time

Just this place


Holding within its bounds the last

Vestige of twilight being molded into dawn

Catching my breath up and breathing

It back to me, breathing new life

Into that dead place I was unaware

Even existed until it was already

Being lived back to life

Resurrection preempting the rightful

Role of my journey’s last repose


Laughing and dancing sang aloud

Egging the bullfrogs on, daring

Them to a friendly duel,

A croaking cacophony of counsel

Tracking mud through pristine pages

Joyously making mess of all I had brought

So certainly to this gathering


And how I was unprepared, for what I would find

How could I have known

That what I yearned for had first

Yearned for me, that the drawing near

I imagined was my own work was

Already being worked upon me


At last there was nothing left to do

At least nothing that I should do

But join in the dancing, and singing,

And croaking, and shining,

And giving, and growing,

And mending, and breaking,

That is the only creation the world

Ever has cared much for, the only life

That beyond any life

Was ever finally worth living

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