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Category Archives: Nature in All Its Glory

Straight Talk From the Fox

Mary Oliver, one of my many favourite poets, speaks often of our relationship both to and in nature. We are not separate from nature, but a part of it and relate to all its elements, sentient and non-sentient. We relate to nature and all its elements as a participant and not an external, passive observer.

Our observations are not something we can full grasp and write down. The closest we come is expressing what we feel in writing poetry and sharing photography.

Quite often, we are dumb to what happens around us. Other moments, we awake and soak it in through all our senses, embodying what the fox tells us and feeling so close to what we experience in those moments.

Listen says fox it is music to run

over the hills to lick

dew from the leaves to nose along

the edges of the ponds to smell the fat

ducks in their bright feathers but

far out, safe in their rafts of

sleep. It is like

music to visit the orchard, to find

the vole sucking the sweet of the apple, or the

rabbit with his fast-beating heart. Death itself

is a music. Nobody has ever come close to

writing it down, awake or in a dream. It cannot

be told. It is flesh and bones

changing shape and with good cause, mercy

is a little child beside such an invention. It is

music to wander the black back roads

outside of town no one awake or wondering

if anything miraculous is ever going to

happen, totally dumb to the fact of every

moment’s miracle. Don’t think I haven’t

peeked into windows. I see you in all your seasons

making love, arguing, talking about God

as if he were an idea instead of the grass,

instead of the stars, the rabbit caught

in one good teeth-whacking hit and brought

home to the den. What I am, and I know it, is

responsible, joyful, thankful. I would not

give my life for a thousand of yours.

“Nature Has No Need Of Fortune”

“Nature Has No Need Of Fortune”.

The article linked has a wonderful and lengthy quote from Michel de Montaigne about character. Character is an aesthetic masterpiece words and deeds are expressing. It is reflected in and through living. We are painting a picture, writing a story, and becoming someone without knowing the next brush stroke, the next letter, and the next step fully.

When I looked at the accompanying image, I was struck by the space in the foreground and how the background was more cluttered. We move in the spaces provided in the immediacy of the moment without knowing for sure what is revealed. When we look further afield, we realize how the past is cluttered and the future uncertain.

It takes confidence to step into the unknown. Although the next step appears spacious, what will appear is not certain despite our best plans, our material resources, and our victories.

The Light of Old October

The Light of Old October.

I have not written a poem for some time, but as I wrote this appeared. The catalyst was the wonderful imagery from the pictures and quotes at the link. Nature has a way of showing us the way. It takes a Sabbath in our climate called winter.

October fades,

The artist’s palette splashes colours about.

Autumn gives way to the winter.

It slips into rest;

Life’s weariness lifted,

Spirits uplifted.

A white blanket appears;

Covering all that sleeps in its wake.

Nature comes full circle,

It rests in its Sabbath.

Wordless Wednesday: Who Could Be So Lucky?

Wordless Wednesday: Who Could Be So Lucky?.

The link includes a wonderful (wonder filled) quote from Rumi. We find so much hidden in the things we look at and when we view the world with new eyes what is hidden is revealed. We see the moon reflecting in the lake. It is in those mindful moments that we feel lucky. There is more given to us than we can ever fully experience and understand.

There is only one Earth…

There is only one Earth….

I am re-reading Rethinking Nature an anthology of philosophical writings about seeing humans living inside nature and nature residing inside us. There is a co-inhabiting involved. Despite familiarity and intimacy, we cannot fully encounter and understand nature anymore than we fully encounter and understand our self. It is in mystery, that beauty lies.

The linked poem speaks to the objectifying nature has undergone at the hands of human belief that we are dominant in nature. In objectifying nature, we objectify ourselves. We cannot live in nature and see it as outside our living.

Wendell Berry, Gary Snyder, Mary Oliver, and many other poets write about nature as a place. Place does not equate to ownership. It is about something special that holds our spirit in place and grounds our living. There is an essence and spirit in place that cannot be quantified. It is seen in the early morning dew, the thundering storms, and a moose calmly eating a few feet away.

Ask a Tree

Ask a Tree.

Thich Nhat Hanh wrote about a large tree on the grounds at Plum Village a Zen monastery in France.  When people are feeling lonely, sad, angry, etc. he suggests they hug the tree for a few moments. It provides people with an opportunity to connect as they pause.

The druids lived in nature often living in trees. Nature was a cathedral and should still be today. As I drove home yesterday, I saw the changing colour in leaves and branches hanging over our street. Nature and trees have stories to tell. We only need to ask, pause of a moment, and listen attentively.

Art’s nature versus “real” nature

Art’s nature versus “real” nature.

The beauty and perfection of Nature is in its imperfection. It is asymmetrical. Alfred North Whitehead and Albert Einstein suggested whatever we needed to find was in Nature.

Nature has ways of speaking to us and revealing itself when we are present and attentive. Being awake means encountering Nature as part of it rather than outside of it as virtual observers. When we open up all our senses Nature reveals herself readily.

It is in the ordinary we find the extraordinary. Art is a way of expressing Nature through the sensuousness we feel. When I look at art, it is the less than perfect representation that attracts. There is something in the asymmetry that pulls me deeper into my relationship with the world.

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