In Praise of Creation by Lowell Jaeger Beneath these wings, the rippled plains undulate in light and shadow, ascending toward rocky steppes and snowcapped summits, evergreen slopes on the eastern front melding mile by mile into the Great Basin’s redrock and sage. How could I do less than stare and wonder? This planet’s flesh-lovely form. Wish my hands could trace and caress these shapes like shoulders and hips and thighs. Voluptuous joy: a cross-country flight, window seat view. Or better still, a coast-to-coast road trip, downshifting to strain and climb twisting switchbacks, the spit and slip of the tires’ grip. The engine’s drag easing across the divide, down the other side, following a cloudburst gathered in streams, the river leveling into the valley below. Or to pedal the backroads, crunching through loose gravel, sweating across terrain, inhaling breezes perfumed with bloom and decay, stopping to rest my pulse in the shade of generous green. None of these will outlast memories of my barefoot youth, wandering game trails, sunlight gilding each rock and meadow, the dirt squeezed between my toes, birdsong whistling through my teeth, and my small heart cradled in the arms of each new day.