The Meadow

Jacob Ethan Flores
4 min readAug 3, 2020

There’s a space for feeling that lies
somewhere in between
infatuation
endearment
gratitude
wonder

It can be tied to a person, this feeling.
For me, right now, it most definitely is.
And it is by virtue of being tied to another soul
that this feeling also plays with the edges
of emotion in another dimension
fear
uncertainty
vulnerability
tenderness

Without complete knowledge of how this person
might feel in response to the way my heart
feels, there is only an image of some set
of potential futures projected against
the backdrop of my mind.
But this uncertainty is a sign of
something true, precious, significant

Uncertainty is the flat description
of the manifold possibility that is the
future.
Anxiety is our intuition that, in spite
of our best efforts to divine the
future through evidence, omens, and
everything in between,
the only way to the realization of
potential is through the act of taking
risks in the present.

Taking risks means living through
both our bodies and minds, in integration.
This is as opposed to the worried
analysis that inhibits our path to action.
To be caught in the web of your fear
is to lose sight on the infinite
expression occurring in the present.
This is where the tension between the feelings of falling in
love and vulnerable uncertainty resolve.

To have faith
means to practice calm
even when it is sensible to feel terror.
To have faith
means to find comfort in patience
when awaiting the arduous path to a bloom.
To have faith means to apply your spirit and effort
to the continued appreciation and cultivation
of love in all of its
mysterious forms.

There was a time, as a boy, that I
struggled with my religion. With its
prophecies, its doctrines, its structure.
But I did not want to abandon my faith
in some deeper meaning and some
fuller hope. I felt torn, angry, sad about
this struggle in my heart.

During this period of time,
as I was losing my faith,
as my religion was losing hold on me,
my father took me up into the
mountains
up into the
forest
where the trees stood so tall
their tops evade your sight
where the trees live so long,
your family history disappears
before you could reach the center
of their arboreal rings.

And on this trip, we took a walk along
a path that reached through the forest
and up the side of one of these
mountains in the range.

The path was long
and it was steep
and I grew tired
bored
agitated.

My protests were met with a conviction
in my father’s voice that was strong
enough to make me fall silent.

And so we continued our
trek up this mountain
through this forest
with tension between us
but a resolve to continue.

The hike was really not that long.

And what had felt like monotony
as we ventured into the woods
ever deeper
came to be the means through
which our minds were cleared,
as if in preparation for what
came next.

What came next was a meadow.
The first I’d ever seen.

It was so glorious, awe-inspiring, gentle
that it reached into me, past the
bounds of my corporeality and touched
my soul.

The prints left behind by that experience
of the meadow exist within me still.

The edges of the grass
were spotted with snow that mid-July.
Throughout the natural garden
were strewn capillaries
of water from the mountain,
its top so close
it was as if you could break off
the peak to keep in your pocket.

My whole life I had only ever seen
landscapes this beautiful in the
pictures provided by the literature
of my religion.
Their promise of an eternal paradise
a projection of some heavenly
unattainable
truth.

But here, in this meadow,
everything was reconciled.

Supreme Beauty
Peace within Presence

The walk down from the
meadow was pregnant in its silence.
Among the family, we said little to nothing
of what we had just witnessed.

But in my entire body was a vigor
of new life.
Life lived not just in embodiment,
but as a deeply rooted gratitude
of my soul.
I felt reassured that I was both
complete
while also being a part of
some larger whole.

That largeness was beyond my
comprehension, but instead of
causing me trouble
it instilled within me faith.
Faith made of calm, patience, tenacity,
and appreciation.

While nearly twenty years
have passed,
the meadow and its impression
have stayed with me.

I won’t lie — I have not always remembered
the lesson I received that day,
a lesson that beauty is in the present,
its gifts shared in its experience
its power and grace immune to captivity.

But when I see you
when I experience your presence
your work
your beauty
your message
I am consumed by my memory of that
meadow.

You engender the resolution
of an infatuated heart
and its fear of the unknown
I am so very glad to have met you.

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Jacob Ethan Flores

Poet, tech analyst, artist. Building bridges between design, technology, biology, and the commons.