Saturday, August 16, 2008

Early morning walk

I've started walking again early every morning, almost before the sun is up and while the evening mists and fogs are quietly drifting up out of the valleys , making way for the new day.

Along the way, there are some strange landmarks, like this venerable old tree, and I become more attentive to my surroundings. I am aware of the rich chorus of insects which is now an ever present part of these late summer days, so constant,that we become used to it and don't hear it any more. Thousands ( millions ? ) of cicadas and other little critters are singing their last song before winter closes in ; it greets us as we wake and sings us to sleep at night.

As I travel between the walls of green that flank my little country road, I see the different plants and their distinctly shaped leaves - what a complex and amazing variety of shapes. There is not only a difference between a fern and an oak leaf, but each leaf on each plant is distinct and different, no two alike.

I think about a picture I've seen of people in New York, a huge wall of humanity, like the wall of green I'm walking beside. Yet in that mass of people, no two are alike and when you look attentively , you can distinguish white from black, like I recognize oak from fern. Looking closer, we can , of course, recognize our relatives, our mother, father, sister, the baby, the old person, just as I can distinguish how each leaf on a single plant is unique.
But when I have narrowed my focus to just one person, there is inside that woman, that old man, a whole world which blossoms out and expands without limit. A world made up of life experiences, imagination, creativity, subconscious urges, longings , and I wonder if within that individual leaf there isn't a corresponding reality, expanding ever outward and , in the end, back inward, toward the focus point.
But I see that the dog and cat are waiting for me at the top of the hill, my walk is over for today.

It's time to pick peaches for jam

and feed the ponies. The day has begun.

1 comment:

Emlyn Stancill Whitin said...

What beautiful walking photos! And let me add, for the record, that I am really impressed at your dragging out of bed so early in the morning - if I didn't know you better I'd wonder if you were in fact a morning person!? That peach picture made me hungry!