Monday, March 12, 2007

Sunday in the Field

Is it the songs of the owls, or the sound of the wind in the trees? Is it my hapless floundering through deep snow to take few photos, stopping every few metres to marvel at something: the shapes of milkweed pods spilling their silk into the wind in anticipation of springtime, the shape of an icicle hanging in solitary splendour, a single oak leaf drifting into the trail at my feet?

It is cold and snowy here, but there are intervals when the skies are so brilliantly blue that my old eyes are dazzled, when I feel as rooted as an ancient oak in the earth and snow under my wandering feet, when green sap flows in my veins rather than just blood, and the wild places leave me so entranced and breathless that I am beyond words and descriptions. In the presence of such grandeur, how insignificant are my small human worries, health concerns and mundane issues.

Something inside is awakening. Something is stirring, and there is a restless quality to these days too — a strong clear sense that a great mystery and many fine adventures are just over the next hill and within an easy lope through the snow.

I wander, I look around, and I wonder endlessly — sometimes I just stand out in the woods for hours, wide eyed, open mouthed and staring, astonished by the sheer magnificence all around me. I take photos and make notes in my little notebook, then return home and try to capture it all here in a net of words and images, and I know beyond certainty that I shall never in a million years be able to describe any of it adequately in words or photos, not a single bit of it.

The best I can hope for is an echo now and again of milkweed pod, leaf or tree, and that will have to do, but how I wish I could do a little better. It is all too beautiful for mere words, and I simply cannot describe how passionately I love this beautiful earth.


Gary Boyd said...

I think I must disagree. I keep coming back here for the words and images...They are more than adequate for these old eyes, and on those occasions I feel compelled to share my sense of wonder at your words, my ears as well.

I begin to believe that wonder is contagious. Let's hope the whole world comes down with the long.

Steve Emery said...

I really get this. The mind and time stopping wonder of the large and small. The hugeness of the sky, stars, the ocean, weather - and the smallness of birds, salamanders, snow flakes, a blossom, an insect. How can it all be this way? How can we possibly share this adequately? Why are we compelled to share it? Why is a scarlet oak leaf one shape and a post oak leaf another? The differences and the similarities make my head spin deliciously. And then I wonder why the shapes, colors, sounds, smells DO this to us. Why does the shape of tulip poplar leaves seem particulalry wonderful to me? Why do the size, porportions and sleekness of chipping sparrows make me grin all the way down? Why am I in awe of the bones and shape of nearly every human face I meet? Why are we made this way, and how is that we have this infinity of sensations to tickle all the ways we are made? I feel as if the journey we are on will bring us to some answers - yet I am more than glad to tarry on the way.

z-silverlight said...

Mother Nature is mutable. Yet at the same time, Eternal.
That is her lure and mystery.
Calm and violent by turns.