Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Flowing Ever Onward

Many many thanks for the kind notes after last week's post about the sixth anniversary of this little chunk of planet blog. It is a fine thing to be here among so many friends and kindred spirits - many deep gasshos (bows) for being here and along on this journey with Himself, Spencer and I and the gentle recording eye of the Pentax.

Perhaps such occasions should be marked by something special, a photograph, a painting, a cairn of stones heaped up somewhere in the wilds, a batch of scones, a pot of tea, a brand new right-out-of the box beeswax pillar candle, lighted and sending its radiance and and honey fragrance into the world. The best thing of all is what I did do - go out to the woods and just sit on a rock for an hour or two.

Impromptu zazen sessions in wild places are always good medicine. One can watch the great wide world in transcendent flowing movement, listen to the wind singing through the bare trees and water dancing its way along in the creek, feel the earth breathing deep and slow underneath the fallen leaves.  One can send her roots down into the good dark earth, harmonize her own breathing with the Old Wild Mother's and get back in tune with the elements, returning home later to go along as she has so far, but rested, easy of heart, quieter and at peace.

No matter how I am feeling when I set out on another wild ramble, I always come back feeling refreshed and renewed, as bright and shiny as a brand new copper penny. Billy Collins captured the feeling beautifully.

The best time is late afternoon
when the sun strobes through
the columns of trees as you are hiking up,
and when you find an agreeable rock
to sit on, you will be able to see
the light pouring down into the woods
and breaking into the shapes and tones
of things and you will hear nothing
but a sprig of birdsong or the leafy
falling of a cone or nut through the trees,
and if this is your day you might even
spot a hare or feel the wing-beats of geese
driving overhead toward some destination.

But it is hard to speak of these things
how the voices of light enter the body
and begin to recite their stories
how the earth holds us painfully against
its breast made of humus and brambles
how we who will soon be gone regard
the entities that continue to return
greener than ever, spring water flowing
through a meadow and the shadows of clouds
passing over the hills and the ground
where we stand in the tremble of thought
taking the vast outside into ourselves.

Billy Collins
(From Directions in The Art of Drowning)


Mystic Meandering said...

ahhhh - "...sitting on a rock in the woods..." A fellow forest traveler! :) I miss it actually, surrounded by suburbia. Need to connect to The Rhythm again. I remember the strobing sun and dancing shadows through the trees... Such sweetness. Beautiful poem and *extraordinary* photo!

Guy said...

Hi Cate

A wonderful photo and a lovely post, your shots of water are always great. I have read lots of Collins but never really thought of him as someone interested in Nature. You found the perfect poem. I also wanted to thank you for your comments on my Blue Jay post I saw it in my mailbox rather than on the blog.

All the best.

georgia b. said...

wow! gorgeous photo! happy six-year bloggoversary!

"when the sun strobes through..."
i love that!
the words... and the thing itself.
one of my favorite sights.

Sky said...

love, love, love it!