He walked the edge of the cliff
Life reflected in the whitewater below
And the grand decisions of that life
Compounded his happiness thrice-fold.
The first, the choice to listen
To the teacher who saw his soul,
Who told him once
To follow his passion with fierce commitment
To learn what he could while growing old—
And then, the second most powerful turn
To mingle with people he loved
Belonging to common tribal bands
Honoring customs, the wisdom thread wove—
A third decision, most powerful of all
To forgive the wrongs of others
And move beyond his injured shores;
Progress never worth the pain of a brother’s
Comfort comes in myriad forms, the traveler
Found he knew;
If he stood there calmly looking out
Rapids would wash his life away.
So on his heel he turned around and lifted
Up a stone
That cleared a path for another who
Might walk that way alone.
His tribe, you see, was sure enough
To invite another in, and once the stranger
Sees her life filled with comforting views
She’ll walk to the cliff of her own good grace
And gently begin again.
Happy for the gift of three,
The rock, the sun, the sea—
Happy for the gift of four
Family, home, life, and liberty.