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We feel that the heavens move.

With our feet planted

on solid ground

we watch the stars travel

in slow circles overhead,

and see the vault of the world

spin like thermaling eagles.

It is dizzying.

Our senses tell us that

the universe travels past us,

around us,

for us.

We stand at the still center of creation.

We feel that the earth cannot move.

It is too big. Too hard.

Too much.

The untold weight of

the black oceans

and the hulking hills

and the human monuments

is too great to shift.

Our world is made of rock and iron;

it does not even bend,

let along move.

We can touch it. See it. We know.

We are wrong.

The earth is always adrift.

Flowing under us,

whole continents ripping apart

and creating anew,

throwing up mountains

and upending seas.

Hurtling us along,

passengers sliding around the sun,

whipping through the years

and leaning into seasons

in a carousel of changing days.

It is never still

and it pulls us

out of all control

through space and time.

The static world is just

a story we tell.

We do not know the things we know.

We can sense the truth of it, though.

When the ground has moved

too far beyond us,

and its broken rocking

has unsettled our bones,

we come to realize that

we are no longer

where we were.

We have lost our way to the thrashing earth.

We must look back to the stars, then.

Look to those points of hope

spun overhead through the world’s twisting.

Search the skies to find that

single still spark:

the North Star. Pole Star.

Resting above the hinge of time

and telling us where we are.

It is faint;

dim and hard to find.

We have to know it first to see it.

But it is there.

When all the earth has moved

and all the heavens

have rolled from end to end,

Polaris stays steady,

telling us how to set our feet

across a tossing world.

We can find our way home by its light.


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