What sleight of hand turned green
to shades of autumn hue
then let them drop in bunches
at the slightest wind that blew?
What forethought made the oaks
yield the acorn for squirrel and deer
teach them where to curl up safely
when the first snows appear?
What imagination put the Dippers
pointing to Polaris in an inky sky
leading travelers northward
to freedom by and by
There is magic and majesty
everywhere you look
planning and provision
from some great ledger book
and season come and season go
and earth still turns on her axis
so midst all the negative is the good
you’ll find it with a little practice.
The Big Dipper was an important part of the Underground Railroad during the Civil War. Slaves escaping from the South were told to “follow the Drinking Gourd” to the North, according to the website The Constellations and Their Stars.