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Last updated 7/8/2021 at 7:45am

Many of you have probably been camped in a high mountain meadow and awaked to the stars shining brightly overhead. While still snuggled in your warm blankets, you have listened to the mysterious noises of the night as the eastern sky begins to show light. You hold your breath and hear the distant reassuring tinkle of the horse bells. Then you know that God is close by and everything is all right with your world.


Ode to an old camp cook by Vern Hopkins

The camp in sleeping silence lay

Stars fading one by one

All nature breathlessly awaits

As the Master raises his baton

The symphony of the wild begins

Darkness melting into light

The old man wakes and listens

To a night bird taking flight

Hear the horses in the meadow

The thump of hoof on turf

Jingle of a hobble chain

As day begins its birth

Music of the horse bells

Ring their haunting song

Morning weaves its magic

Of this hour before dawn

He rolls back nice warm blankets

Weathered hat upon his head

Stretching out his creaky bones

He rises from his bed

The crackling of the morning fire

Squirrel scolding from a pine

High above a raven’s call

Adds melody and rhyme

The shadows hold a big-eyed doe

With baby hidden near

Searching out with ear and nose

To cast aside her fear

With time-worn hands the old man

Kneads the biscuit dough

Fingers stiff and crooked

They sound their tremolo

As the sleeping camp awakens

The sonata fades away

Lays down its reeds and cymbals

As night gives up its stay

The old man smiles knowing

Although the music’s gone

Tomorrow will bring another

Symphony of the dawn


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