Monday, April 28, 2014

To Breathe Quietly


We drove up into the mountains to explore around a lake today,
and to throw some fishing lines in and get the kids some casting practice.
To soak the sunlight into our skin
and watch the birds fly
with their wingtips just touching the surface of the water,
and the ducks thrashing around together wildly,
and to hear the water sloshing softly at our feet.
It's important, I think, for human beings to learn to breathe quietly,
and to listen to natural sounds.
It often gives me a chance to notice things.

It's wetter than here.
I showed my son the moss growing on the north side of the trees,
and handed my daughter a stick with lichen on it
I could only describe as radioactive green.
A bumble bee flew into our fishing net,
and I picked it up to take a closer look.
The trees are taller here than my kids are accustomed to.
I watched them rub their hands over the bark the same way I used to,
and I pointed out how big and prickly the pine needles are
compared to the soft White Pine needles they are familiar with.

To the eye, this yellowish stuff is far greener than it appears here
As we drove through the forest,
my eyes were repeatedly drawn to the vivid green
that some of the trees sported.
Greener than anything else I saw.
And yet, looking a little closer,
it was all the dead branches that looked so alive,
coated as they were in death-eating moss.
The living branches weren't so showy.
They were duller, but they were alive and fruitful.
Those verdant showpieces were unstable, brittle, and fruitless.
Something to ponder.

The forest of the future
And then there were the empty spaces.
Except they weren't.
Because what was growing in them was the forest of the future.
It wasn't so noticeable today, but in a few years,
you won't be able to see the forest for the trees.
Those trees have taken root already.
They're healthy, and they're growing.
They're alive, and in due season will bear fruit.

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