I’ve lived in Florida for almost twenty years collectively, with an eight year break in between whilst living first in Japan, then back to my hometown of Lexington, Kentucky. During a visit to my hometown, where nearly all my family live and gravitate routinely, I grabbed a chance to take a quick solo drive through the rolling hills of horse country. The trip provided a wonderful opportunity to reflect on my roots and grapple for solutions to my own personal challenges, through the spectrum of nature’s calm beauty. I came away with deepened appreciation for my beautiful home state, as well as a few enlightened moments to take with me.
By Jenny Leigh Hodgins 2007
Long has it been since I took in the sight
Of Kentucky’s brand of countryside;
Unbounded and free, the Bluegrass rolls out–
A playground where horses gallivant about;
A scene of innocence–Nature’s peace,
Gracefully inspiring with untroubled ease.
Deeply, I breathe in, as if to preserve
This moment of truth, stillness and nerve.
For I find in the air–in the hills and vast sky,
The courage to look my own fate in the eye.
How ingenius life is. It endures every change–
No matter the storm, refusing to estrange.
Serenely composed, its wisdom will defy
Any unexpected shift or outcry.
Undaunted, unfazed, unmoved to the core–
I find life to be an exceptional mentor;
Endurance, continuance, existence goes on–
Regardless of whatever season has gone…
The flower blooms lightly, the grass rises high,
The sun blazes clearly to warm and fortify.
And even in winter, the harsh bitter cold
Transforms into something beautiful and bold,
As the snow drapes over all within sight
Leaving none of us
untouched or alone in the night.
Yes, Nature knows we are One with creation;
Every action affects every soul, every nation.
The Earth leads the way
with unrivalled compassion,
Her gentleness never confused for dispassion;
Her language, the universal rhythm of hope,
Given to a world of beings still desperate to cope
With the complexities of deeply rooted karma,
Still unawakened to the truth of the dharma.
Here, in the beauty of country fresh air,
I yearn to absorb the profundity there;
In simplicity, nature brings so much to glean,
Full of history’s struggles, yet still purely serene.
Ode to Kentucky, the place of my birth,
Thanks to your lessons of invaluable worth.
I, as your daughter, sister, true friend,
Will strive for your harmony until the end.