Long Distance Friend

Hello to my world wide pals!

My long distance friends,

Who never hold my absence against me.

Who welcome my presence, 

Whenever and wherever I pop up.

Who allow time to pass without judgement,

Without resentment,

Without irritation.

Thank you oh stable ones,

Who hunker down in one place,

And build a generous home. 

One I can return to

After a month in the woods,

Sweaty, stoked, and stinky.

Thank you, my sweet friends,

Who say “stay as long as you want, come whenever.”

How I adore you,

The ones who make warm tea and ask not about my external adventures,

But my internal journey.

Thank you, courageous global friends 

For being willing to get to know me

Again and again.

For guiding me out your backdoor

To nearby swimming holes

Your local crag,

Regional mountain peaks,

And covert countryside creeks.

Thank you, my reliable pals

For filling my notebooks with worldwide stories

Of outdoor play. 

A million thanks to the ones 

Who request time off from THE SYSTEM

To meet me halfway,

By bus, by train, by plane, by car.

Who find me in the world for an expedition

Into the wilderness!

An exploration of what’s wild and what’s true,

An undertaking of what’s natural and what’s pure. 

An immersion into my world.

Here’s to the wild faces

Who make a home in wild spaces.

I am grateful for your tent next to mine,

Your van parked nearby,

Your sleeping bag close.

Oh, how I loved living within yelling distance of you!

Our moonlit walks 

And afternoon creek showers 

Are of particular importance to me.

It is unclear who left first,

For two travelers meeting in migration

Are bound to drift apart.

The heart aches but does not break

For the expanse of earth now spread between us.

May your adventures be challenging,

Everlasting, and warm. 

When our paths cross again

We can build a fire

And pick up where we left off.

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