So let’s say you are starving and someone says, “You can ask for a carrot. You can ask for a potato. Oh, OR you can ask for corn, but then you won’t get anything.” And your favorite thing in the world is corn. You would give anything to have a fresh ear of corn. Corn makes you so happy and it’s like comfort food to your soul. Would you really ask for the corn? You know you won’t get that, and you don’t know if you will get the carrot or the potato now. Someone else will choose for you. You have to eat whatever is stuck before you. Honest? You still asked for corn?
“Come to the Woods” by Jake Runestad (b. 1986), text by John Muir (1838-1914). World premiere at St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, Austin, TX, May 9, 2015 (“This Delicate Universe: New Works for Our World” concert). Video by Austin American-Statesman. Commissioned by Conspirare. With Faith DeBow, piano, and special appearance by Jake Runestad.
Come to the Woods
Another glorious day, the air as delicious
to the lungs as nectar to the tongue.
The day was full of sparkling sunshine,
and at the same time enlivened with one of
the most bracing wind storms.
The mountain winds bless the forests with love.
They touch every tree, not one is forgotten.
When the storm began to sound,
I pushed out into the woods to enjoy it.
I should climb one of the trees for a wider look.
The sounds of the storm were glorious with
wild exuberance of light and motion.
Bending and swirling backward and forward, round and round,
in this wild sea of pines.
The storm-tones died away, and turning toward the east,
I beheld the trees, hushed and tranquil.
The setting sun filled them with amber light, and seemed to say,
“Come to the woods, for here is rest.”
Taken from writings by John Muir, adapted by the composer.