The One you seek is behind you.


You have been hiking these woods
on the top of this mountain
for days now.
What do you seek?
Whom do you seek?
I have seen you go by. So has He. We talk.
You seem tired
but not sleepy.

I am a Prayer Tree.
I was bent by the Ute people native to this region.
I am a sign;
I point.
I point to a Holy Place,
to a mountain top, similar to this one.

The mountain top towards which I point
is place of holy gathering for people
with darker skin than you have.
Like you, they seek God.
Like you, they walk and search.
They are sleepy but not tired.

From this mountain top on which I have stood
against the winds for 800 years, I point.
I even lean sometimes. And I twist.
We are similar in that way, you and I.
I see your cities, your Gross National Product
and the costs of it.
Did I mention you look tired but not sleepy?

I point to the Holy,
which is over there on that mountain.
But what you do not see, as you squint to see the place of my pointing,
is that behind you and me, is a mountain to the East.
And on that mountain is a bent tree like me.
And that tree has a tired person near it searching, searching, searching.
And that Prayer Tree, her divinity is swirling with longings and prayers too.
And that tree is pointing across valleys to
here.
Right here, where you are spending your time looking for the next mountain.
For behind you, a few feet away is a Ute altar made of stone, large and flat and majestic.

While you search for the Holy Mountain to the West,
you are missing the one on which you stand,
with me,
praying, longing, hoping.

If you look along my trunk and squint, you can see the Holy Place.
But if you turn around and sit down
it will be on an altar.
and you can rest.
And you can be with the One for whom you search.
But you must be willing to stop looking,
and instead see.

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