The earth never tires. This line from Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself always comes to mind on days like today when I come home from teaching bone-tired. At least there is something stronger than me, the earth continuing to turn day after day, year after year, pumping out perennials with abandon despite the discouragements of snow and cold.

The earth never tires because the earth doesn’t care. She doesn’t get her hopes up: the earth, in fact, neither hopes nor despairs. The earth continues to bear the weight of all our human souls, all our human heartbreak, while floating in the icy isolation of space. The earth neither waits nor wants–the earth simply turns, simply orbits, simply soaks sun on one side while blushing into shadow on the other.

The earth sometimes shudders with quakes but is largely immune from the paroxysms of human pain. The earth doesn’t care about your day, your week, your life: the earth simply soldiers on, heeding nothing but gravity and her own magnetic impulses. The sun is her star and the moon her vassal.

The earth never tires, but I do. I tire and I waver. I am prone to mountainous highs and valley lows. I ebb and flow–I tire by night and am revived by morning. I am heliotropic, my moods manipulated by light, hunger, and the vicissitudes of time. The earth never tires, but I do: I rise and fall with the sun, my spirit willing but my body weak.