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Stairway to Heaven

Kathy took these pictures at Sunwapta Falls in Jasper National Park. The Sunwapta River flows from Athabasca Glacier and the falls plunge over a hanging valley left by receding glaciers about 8000 years ago. The path down to the overview above the falls is unique with the tree roots playing an integral role in the stairway. The “staircase” is a product of human and nature wearing the surface. With the help of the stairway, I got closer to the edge than I usually do.

I wrote the following poem to accompany the pictures of the and borrowed the title from a more famous group, Led Zeppelin. I took time to read about the meaning behind the lyrics. It appears to be a statement about money not buying one’s way into heaven, whatever one might think that is.

Gnarled and gnarly,

Wending its way upwards,

Nature’s stairway

Revealing beauty.

Gaining confidence,

Moving safely,

Finding my way,

Fuller, richer.

Nature awaiting,

Golden rays find space–

Guiding steps,

Shining on each step,

On a ‘highway to heaven.’

For those who want to compare my poetry to that of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, here is a version of the video.

About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and taught for 15 years in a wonderful hybrid school. My dissertation topic and research were how certain teachers experience becoming who teachers. In teaching and leanring, I am a boundary-crosser who understands moving ahead is a leap of faith. Teaching is a calling and vocation to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what calls me next. I am an educator, phenomenologist, scholar, boundary-crosser, published poet, author, parent, grandparent, and spouse.

14 responses »

  1. Perhaps some of the steps we leave behind in our writing and speaking will someday help another to climb a rocky surface and see beauty in the world. We can only hope.

    Reply
  2. WHAT AN EXCITING PARALLEL!

    Reply
  3. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
    “AND HE’S CLIMBING THE STAIRWAY…TO HEAVEN!!!!!!

    Reply
  4. Haha, not comparing. We all have unique perspective. Really enjoyed the photos. So much beauty in this world! 🙏🌎🤗

    Reply
  5. Surreal root system, beautiful images and a good poem.

    Reply
  6. The roots are gorgeous.

    Reply
  7. Yes, a highway to heaven.

    Reply
  8. I like these photos.👍👌

    Reply

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