Friday, December 2, 2011

Gathering the Heavens

You just never know what you'll find.  When you have a conversation with nature, it's not what you have to say, but how still you are willing to be so that Nature has a chance to speak.

Live lichen on a dead branch
On a recent walk through open high-desert lands, I was expectant. Brilliant green life was bursting out of dead wood--the contrast of color and the surrender of the old to the new caught me.
A city bird resting between feasts of juniper berries
Massive trunk of juniper cut short repeatedly by the elements
When I became quiet enough, I felt Nature's expression. An awkward translation (I don't "speak" tree) might begin with:  what life grew up from this tree when it was a slender, young sapling?  When its top was first broken out by force of storm, or snow, or ice, or gale, was the pain intense?  And how long had this tree continued to grow in earth where storm and snow and ice have their way with tree tops?  What strength and perseverance and courage are written in the rugged geometry of this giant?  Can a tree feel courage?  How long does a tree gather the glory of the heavens before it is full?

Biography and history plaited in this magnificent trunk

And of the Things I get to do today, feeling the stories of these trees is undoubtedly the most significant.  I do not hear answers to the questions, but I honor their statures, their shapes and twists, aware that from great pain can come speechless beauty.

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