By Thomas Couch

When I first remember,
My family was already on the move.
They could not stand still.
They quarreled among themselves
In low murmuring undertones of unrest as they moved along.

They were not at ease with one another,
But they thought of no other life that suited them.
They stuck together out of fear of being separate.

When I was young, I dreamt at the speed of light.
I was faster than the wind and quicker than the lightning flash.
A mountain is strong and a river does not quit.
In my mind, I was all of these.

But from fear, I learned to move at a pace suited to the herd.
I learned to run just so.
My body carried me along.
It was not much fun, but safe.

Now I am slowing down.
It is time for me to stop.

I will stand here until the ground no longer trembles,
And the air is fresh again.
I will stand here and drink of the quiet.
I will call to my dreams.
I will feel the peace, and
I will know a time of splendid solitude,
Before the lion.


THOMAS COUCH is President of the Board of Trustees for the Vedanta Center of Atlanta. Formerly an educator and businessman, he now devotes much of his time to serviceful activities.