Friday, May 03, 2024

Friday Ramble - Swimming in Light

We awaken to gray skies and rain beating a staccato rhythm that shuns meter and metronome. Puckish breezes cavort in the eaves and ruffle tiny green leaves in the garden like decks of playing cards. A thousand and one little waterfalls have appeared out of nowhere, and impromptu streams are dancing happily through village gutters carrying sodden twigs, oak leaves, pine needles and catkins.

Here and there are precious islands of stillness. Sheltered by overhanging trees, the ornamental pond in a friend's garden is like glass, white and scarlet koi hovering almost motionless in the early light, their open mouths like tiny perfect "o"s. Sometimes, the jeweled carp seem to be swimming in sky.

In springs past, there was sometimes water in the garage, and the dear old Passat (gone now) rested easy in a shallow lagoon until the wet stuff gurgled its way down through frantically working drains and out into village collectors. When the tide receded, I scraped rust into glass jars and tucked them away on a shelf - iron oxide pigments produce lovely ochre hues, and my gleanings were used in arty projects, often on other rainy days. The glass jars and their crumbly contents were found treasure, and looking at them made me smile. These days, my fingers are seldom up to such activities, but that doesn't stop me from thinking up neat "stuff" to try out.

While claiming my rusty bounty, I sometimes thought about the fact that humans have been using iron oxides in artistic undertakings as far back as the prehistoric caves of Lascaux. I would be a happy camper indeed if I had ever managed to produce something a scrap as vibrant as the Chinese horse. Just think, that magnificent beast has been galloping along its cave wall for at least fifteen thousand years. 

A heady brew of rust (iron oxides), carbon dioxide and water is where all sentient life on earth may have begun. It is interesting to note that the Japanese word for rust is sabi (錆). Then there is wabi-sabi (侘寂), the enfolding aesthetic or world view which is centered on notions of impermanence, simplicity and naturalness or imperfection.

Clouds and rain, then sunshine and blue sky, then back to clouds and rain again, who knows what spring days will hold? When good weather prevails, Beau and I go off to the woods and ramble as far as we can, a long way from the miles of rugged terrain we once covered, but there are wonders everywhere we go, grace and gratitude in every step.

On wet days, we listen to Bach or Rameau, read and drink tea. We watch raindrops dappling the windows, the painterly way in which trees, stones and old wood fences are beaded with moisture and shining in the grey. Each and every raindrop is a minuscule world teeming with exuberant life, whole universes looking up at us, great and bumbling creatures that we are. Rain or shine, up and down, in and out, us and them, it's all good. Is there any such thing as us and them? I think not. Just us. Together. All One.

1 comment: said...

The koi, wind and rain, Lascaux, wabi sabi, the inter-connectedness of weave this all together so beautifully.
I read your posts first thing in the morning and the words are the best wayn of entering the day.
Thank you, dear Cate.