216: A visit from the Green ManPosted: April 27, 2011
Knowledge was inherent in all things. The world was a library and its books were the stones, leaves, grass, brooks… We learned to do what only the students of nature ever learn, and that was to feel beauty.
~ Luther Standing Bear (1868-1939)
This morning I stood at the back of the house and looked out at the meadows stretching out towards and around the pond, the meadow grasses merging with the wetland cattails, the cattails leading the way to the woods. Everything is so incredibly green. It’s as if the Green Man himself came by and with one touch brought the greening of the land.
The grassy fields are dotted with dandelions, a carpet of green and yellow stretching out over the small hills near the future woods. I know some folks think of them as weeds, but I enjoy their color and watching their little heads bopping around in the breeze.
Spring is the season of life and beauty unfolding. I’ve been going outside a couple of times a day, making new discoveries each time. I can almost watch the asparagus shooting up from the ground, it’s growing that quickly now. A spear that was just coming up in the morning is ready to be picked by late afternoon or early the next morning.
I decided to go back into the woods again today. It was so magical back there yesterday that I felt like I was being called to visit once more. On my way down the hill I came across a small turtle. S/he couldn’t have been more than an inch and a half long. I don’t know how I managed to spot such a little thing, but after visiting with it for a short time, I was much more careful about where I put my feet, watching the ground for other creatures out for their morning walk.
I saw my first bullfrog and dragonfly of the season on my way to the woods. The bullfrog didn’t hang around long enough to photograph and the dragonfly flew by so fast I almost didn’t see it. Back in the woods, the daffodils are still partying, their heads bobbing around to the music the wind, birds, and spring peepers are providing. There was another sound in the woods. I’m not sure what it was, but I think it may have been tree frogs.
The creek is still running high. With more rain expected today and tomorrow, I’m sure it will continue that way for a while.
I read somewhere that early spring corresponds to the period of childhood when all things are questioned or enjoyed for their own sake. I think it was in a Caitlin Matthews book. I’m not sure and can’t seem to locate the exact quote. The idea makes perfect sense to me.
I keep wanting to sit down and write about how my outdoor commitment has changed me, but every time I try to do so, words escape me. I can’t explain the joy and thrill of each new discovery of things that have probably been here all the time, in their proper season. Things I never noticed because I wasn’t aware in the same way I am now aware. (I have to admit, though, that it still sometimes takes me a few days to notice something such as a tree that has fallen over, so my awareness is still not all that great.)
I knew this land was magical when we made the decision to live here at Breezy Acres. Somewhere along the way, I forgot about the magic. I took it all for granted and stopped going out on a daily basis to see what was happening each day.
There is a rhythm in life, a certain beauty which operates by a variation of lights and shadows, happiness alternating with sorrow, content with discontent, distilling in this process of contrast a sense of satisfaction, of richness that can be captured and pinned down only by those who possess the gift of awareness.
~ Louis Bromfield
It’s still wet and muddy and slippery back in the woods. I prepared for it today by wearing my hiking boots. They have much better traction than the garden shoes I was wearing yesterday (when I hadn’t really planned to go back into the woods, yet ended up there anyway). The Spring Beauties seem to have spread, making their way up the side of one of the little hills.
I stopped to see if any of the fairies were at home and would pose for a photo. Alas, like the male cardinal, they seem to be camera shy.
The next message you need is always right where you are.
~ Ram Dass
I eventually made my way out of the woods and to the high path through the future woods. No longer protected by the trees and being on lower ground, I found out just how gusty the winds are today.
It’s growing dark now. There are storms coming. Time for me to get this posted and go make sure the hatches are all battened down.
Short update: Well, it was a little late for the trash bin. I went out to get it (today was garbage pick-up day) and it was gone. The wind, which started blowing really hard a couple of hours ago (30 mph with gusts up to 40-50 mph) has probably carried it hundreds of miles away. On the plus side, I glanced out at the pond just in time to see a huge red ball go skipping across the water. (It brought to mind The Prisoner, but that was a big white ball.) The ball skipped its way out of the pond and into a white pine tree. If it’s still out there (I can’t tell), we may have exchanged one trash bin for a big red ball.