"We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike." ~Maya Angelou

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Seeking Beauty

      Sunday is traditionally a day of rest; Danny was big on that idea.  He refused to do any work he didn't want to (read: CATTLE WORK) on Sunday and he honestly tried to simply rest. I did not rest on Sundays because it was one of only two days in which I did not have to work at school all day. Due to my new circumstances today was long, long, long...and a little sad in spots.  I did rest; I took a short nap (which for me is ground breaking news: I don't believe in them as a general rule).  I was restless and did some work cutting up the wood pile for a bit and picked up sticks for awhile but couldn't seem to stay with anything.           Then that lovely poem ,"The Song of Wandering Aengus" by Yeats,came into my mind:
 "I went out to the hazel wood,
 because a fire was in my head,
and cut and peeled a hazel wand,
and hooked a berry to a thread,
and when white moths were on the wing
and moth like stars were flickering out
I dropped that berry in a stream
and hooked a little silver trout."

Beauty called so I pulled on a jacket, tucked my camera into the pocket and began to walk the edge of the creek, looking, really looking for the beautiful which is omnipresent, if we but take the time to look.  

I found the Rosemary plants fragrant and full of delicate lavender blossoms, with purple stitching in their throats and frosted caps holding the bloom.
 and as I knelt to snap the shot, the pungent, living scent of sage,
 the ever true one, which graces my chicken soups all winter long, washed upward all around me.

                                     Look at the tiny grey, raised dots that cover each leaf, and the lighter
                                       veins which run behind. Gorgeous.

   These leaves are American Elm, a very common tree here, but beautiful with the late afternoon light shining through the gold and brown.

The  China berries glistened, translucent in the sunshine, reaching skyward beside the giant Eastern Red Cedar, adorned for the holidays with its sea-blue berries; winter treats for the birds who will shelter within its branches.

This particular Cedar sits right on the top edge of the creek. It is the one we used to string with lights during the holidays so that when someone was returning home they would see the lights from the corner. When I spread the branches and looked inside I found that one string of lights still hung there. The tree itself is barely hanging onto the bank now, the water having washed much of the soil from its roots. Perhaps this year I will attempt to string the lights one more time.

Farther along the path I happened on these huge white mushrooms drawing their life from the decaying heart of this once strong Elm tree. " ..and the dead feed the living"  the story of Ecology in a nutshell. Notice that beautiful dappled grass which lies across the picture and the green moss on the bark of the dead tree. 
  These scarlet dandies caught my eye as I rounded the bend; ripe and delicious, food for the wandering creature to tuck safe away for a cold and rainy night.

I followed the path to where it turned downward toward the creek
and there, among the beaver felled trees I lay down among the
cool ferns and cleared my mind of song and thought. I listened to the gossiping of the birds, as they flitted from tree to tree. Something much larger than a bird was rustling through the tall grasses on the opposite side of the creek. I never saw what it was but it sounded big enough to be deer. I am confident they saw me, whatever it was.
      The world spun as it should spin, all the parts racking along together in the dance of life: the deer, the birds, the trees with their bright jeweled berries, the ferns below, the blue above. I cleared my head of the fire and simply listened and looked; gazing into the blue and white sky until the sunset began to tinge the clouds a gentle pink.  The day was ending on a peaceful, blessed note. Thanks be to God. Amen. Alleluia.

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