O the loneliness and the fear
I feel when I go into the wilderness
Where the jackals and the wolves
Howl for my soul.
Out there, I’m alone. Only God,
And even Him I’m not so sure of.
Why the wilderness? There there is
No running from fear, pain, myself.
Naked and alone I must look
At myself. A grain of sand in a
Hostile world, trying to be so important
But only hanging on to the rock
Who gave me birth.
– Dale Hartwig (1940-2012) loved the wilderness. He went to his cabin in northern Michigan whenever he could. Poem #38 was written during advanced Parkinson’s from his room at the Care Center in Grand Rapids, MI. Dale was one of seven classmates who gather annually for reflection and the renewal of friendship. Since Dale’s death, there are six. An empty chair preserves Dale’s seat in the circle.