The Earth

The Earth is the strong, silent type. His broad shoulders cast a shadow wherever he goes. He looks awkward walking about, a little bit uncomfortable standing. He seems most at ease when he sits or reclines, relaxed with a smile on his face.  He’s dependable; if he says he’ll do it, you can count on him to keep his word.

He’s friendly, and gracious, giving the benefit of the doubt to all. He is a people person, though he’s not comfortable in the spotlight, he’s happier listening, watching from the sidelines, observant to a fault. He rarely gets angry, it takes years for his temper to build.  Once it erupts, he cools down quickly, and becomes his happy self again.

The Earth is ruddy and weathered — with lines on his hands and lines on his face — in that attractive way of old cowboys who spend their lives driving cattle across the plains.  His skin turns to leather in the heat of the sun and he strums his guitar by the campfire when the stars dot the cooling night sky. You’ll hear him humming softly, especially when he’s working, a tune that reminds you of childhood, the song you can’t quite place.

You may think the Earth is unaware, but he isn’t.  He’s the quiet one who feels everything, sees and hears everything.  He is a patient listener, never judging, always nodding understanding. He remembers what you’ve forgotten: when it last rained, which way to Albuquerque, and where you left your keys.


Inspired by “The Book of Qualities” by J. Ruth Gendler, this bit of creative prose reminds me that everything seems to have a spirit, a personality, even those things we call inanimate.  This is, in part, what poetry is, telling the world how patient is the earth, or how seductive is the full moon.

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