We’re off to luxuriate in blue skies and sunshine, leisurely days and evenings and a little exploration–much needed since Marc has been travelling a lot for work, as usual. We do still miss each other (even at this point in married life) after awhile! Plus, it’s his birthday present, not saying for which one, out of loving respect. 🙂 Hope you readers can create time to enjoy yourselves and loved ones, too. I’ll be back with more pictures and words by Wednesday or Friday, depending on timing (and perhaps how very relaxed I become on the trip…)
This time is slight, a guest
appearance between rains,
and so we gorge on light
and encores of color,
sounds and smells pillowing air.
Nothing is luxurious as this
blue flung far and wide, new
raiment donned for July.
Even trees lift up, limbs swaying
into washes of summer’s breath.
Birds practice acrobatics
inside blazing ultramarine.
Bear and wolf speak of bounty
from mountain to river valley,
noses caught in wind’s netting.
I cover myself in morning,
a cape that clings to my shoulders
undoing winter’s penchant for night.
Feet break free to slide, tap, patter;
hands seek tenderness of flowers
whose blossoms share glimpses of
nectar and mystique, perfumes of God.
July comes with a roar, laugh, leap,
a traveler emerging from coils
of cold and wet, then uncertain June,
from mosaics of silence, shifting shadow.
It unveils such wonders that even
hidebound hearts pause to soften
in this easy, ripening blush of summer.
The efficacy of flowers
is an assurance and a lesson
that living things have purpose
and meaning by mere existence.
How much mastery a seed or bulb
contains before it settles deep
into snug pockets of soil.
It’s story is complete if secret,
the conclusion well foregone.
Does the flower ever know its fate?
Does it see its future coming,
how it will inch its way through
sprawling, humid earth with
one goal only–leaf, stem, bud
to light, water from sky,
tendril roots to deeper, then
a grand unfurling amid
breezes that will carry
its scent and seeds afar?
It comes into itself with ease, on
unhurried schedule, with grace that
adorns its fullness like afterthought.
Its unfolding is a soft dazzle,
a rapture of complexity–
such execution of design,
matchless, refined, a bit shy yet
a beacon for insect lives and me.
Its victory of beauty is found
with nose, eyes and fingertips,
carefully despite its strength,
and ingenuity–did it not push
its way up through rock, worms,
creepers and gnawers, gnarly roots,
more dirt to emerge intact?
But I wonder if it knows its splendor
is short lived, its life tarrying
briefly and then an exit,
its farewell often missed by others.
And even then noted only as
a humble passing, its elegance
finally fading as it returns
to welcoming, familiar earth.
Flower, I will keep such knowledge close:
that completion lives within me, and
life can bloom divine despite
complications or twists of ego
(no flower carries our burdens)
that scheme to make beingness harder.
I, too, have all required to survive,
arrive at an apex as intended.
And yet before I know it will let go
of verve, of tenderest or brutal things,
the salve of love; let my living
transform through ending as all must,
and move on then, and so be done.
It has been lying there for weeks now, since winter’s windy deluges, limbs immobilized, outspread, sinking into the bottom muck of the pond bit by bit. I stop and watch it, as if it might get up and walk to its previous home and root itself again. This is what I want and feel nearly embarrassed by the depth of my feeling. I have an inordinate love of trees, especially the ancient, giant ones that have grown formidably hearty and sheltered such life for eons, have born weather and thoughtlessness of passersby and welcomed friendly, musical birds to their arms; squirrels who gossip and hide acorns and insects who find sustenance. All without complaint as far as I can know.
It thrived–it lived well and long. So when it went down by the pond I felt how it lay alone but not abandoned amid scattered and dense gatherings of the others, those who had survived and now watched. It is known that trees communicate with one another, know one another; it isn’t such foolishness to think they tend to one another even in death in ways we can only suspect. Humans have an innate desire to put hand to tree, to wrap arms about young and old ones, their rough, dense bark a comfort upon our far more frail skin. I sometimes felt as a child that only trees could easily access my heart and thoughts.Many of us know what it is to make our own nests in and of their branches. We utilize their primal wealth in endless ways. And do we thank the givers of such bounty?
But who really thinks so much of the death of a tree in a park? We gawk , pass on, and some of us return to look again.
Each time I have gone to the park, I’ve wondered over it. I have walked around it’s beauty and studied its stillness, imagine its energy leaving in increments, the water cradling its bulk, life draining to underwater creatures. To the power of nature’s needs. So I have taken pictures. It’s only a downed tree but when a young man climbed onto it I felt a resistance, a displeasure. He wanted me to take one of him standing on it with arms raised in victory. Instead there is just a snapshot of him climbing on it to show how it’s size, and how we are–animals who find an interesting thing and make it ours. I guess I have done the same. I’ve inhabited its place of dying, photographed an immensity that puts me in my place. The elegance of it even now; there is so much more beneath its slow-to-perish bark. What else will find its way there?
I wonder if the young man recalls childhood days when he claimed a spot in the branches of a good, sturdy tree…swung from its resilient branches, felt relief from summer’s heat. Was amazed at the views from the top. I remember and count myself fortunate to have known that happiness. So I praise you, great fallen tree, for your service and your loveliness, the hosting of so many.
…and when the world is howling,
we leave, seeking hearts of stones,
filigree of leaf and web
and water’s life saving–
we go in search of one other
amid mastery of earth
and oh we gather such finds in
God’s shady hollows and wild light