On days of winter's dark blue sky, follow tracks of deer
Up to the forest meadow where the hawks and hares appear.
Pilgrim on past sign and blaze, every chart and map.
Turn your face to wilderness, to the mountain gap.
Take the step that's one too far and fall into the trees,
Dive for pearls and pinecones in their resin-fragrant seas.
Time and the sun are jesters in the land of forest pine;
Year is changed to year and back and never shows a sign.
Beauty will beguile you or will smash you in the face;
Nature can seduce you, so be heedful in the place
Where she rules: you're not evergreen, and it's snowing.
Your sack is full of needles; sun is going.
Sail home then, mate, with the moon on your deck,
Cold starlight is prickling the back of your neck.
Steer your ship back from the edge of the earth-
But pull your nets in first and see what they're worth.
You've been to sanctuary and made it back home
With something to show for it: pearls and pinecones.
Pearls and Pinecones by Judy Schilling