This line is from one of Robert's poems, called
"Birches." In it, he talks of swinging
birches, climbing them until the weight of the climber
causes the tree to bend, so far that the climber, if he or
she climbs high enough, is set back down upon the
ground. He says that it's important to him to
"get away from earth awhile" (climbing the
tree), but "then come back to it and begin over"
(being set back down on the ground). He says that
while earth is often a difficult place to be with
tremendous challenges and pain, it still is the place that
offers us love, and is still the place he prefers to be.
There is much love here on this planet. There are
also many bad things, but there is, above all, much
love. We do love each other well when we do love,
and it's important that we stay focused both on giving
love and on letting others love us. Some people find
life difficult to deal with partly because they're not
able to recognize love when they see it and feel it--the
love is definitely there, but because it doesn't come in
the ways that we expect it, we often don't even see
One of the things that we can do to rectify this situation
is to spend more time looking for it--not searching it out
like a quest for a holy grail, but just actually looking
around ourselves to recognize it when it's there and where
it is. The man who drops some money into another's
hat, the woman who does a kind deed for a co-worker, the
child who draws a cool picture for a parent, the teen who
offers to babysit for free because he or she knows that
the parents can't afford to pay--in these and in so many
other small, unnoticed acts lie the seeds of love.
And these seeds so often go unnoticed by all of us.
Earth is a good place for love, for earth is occupied by
humans, who have a wonderful potential for love.
We'll recognize this fact more easily when we open our
eyes and hearts to see the love, and when we conquer the
fear that we feel to share our love.
Questions to consider:
Why do so many people focus on what they perceive to
be a lack of love, rather than on the presence of love and
Why is love so important to us. If it's so
important, then why do we not make it a major focus of our
How might we go about making love a more central part of