Archive for December, 2012

Quiet Season

As I do every morning, I went into the woods for a walk earlier today. From our house, there are a variety of places to roam. Today, my puppy Zulani (6-month-old mastiff that answers to Z) and I went to a trail up the road. Four-wheelers enjoy this trail as well for its steep incline. The wheelers drive in all conditions including mud. Because of this, over the years their use has made the ground more of a creek bed. DEC (it’s state land) decided the best way to keep the motorized vehicles off the trail was to cut some healthy hard woods down, and leave the trees down to block entrance—ultimately to those on foot or on wheels. So, I sadly hadn’t been on this trail in a long while.

Then today, I saw a slight opening close by that probably began as a deer trail. So, Z and I took it and were delighted to find it brought us to the path described above at the site of some old friends—a cluster of 7 Sugar Maples that I call the 7 Sisters. I have spent countless time with my back rested upon the trunk of any one of these maples. I’ve been with them as snow fell around us, as rain nourished their roots and also while the sun flickered through their branches to touch us with warmth. The last time I was amongst these ladies, their leaves were plenty and green, dancing with enthusiasm. Perhaps that is why it surprised me to find these friends bare and quiet today. My first reaction was terrible disappointment; for there was no feeling of a wholehearted welcoming that I had previously received. Yet that disappointment was fleeting as I realized how human it was to want excitement all the time. So, I accepted their quiet and stood still with them. Only then did I receive the welcome I expected upon arrival. Once again knowing I belong among them, even though I travel the earth on two legs, as they stay rooted in the ground. We still share the same oxygen that breathes us alive.

I continued to stand there, further quieting my mind, opening up to something primal. It was in that space I recognized that there are not only seasons for the earth but also for us as well. While the leaves begin to decompose and snow starts to fall, I feel the quiet of the earth happening inside me. I sometimes label this feeling as laziness, but it is as natural as a tree dropping its leaves. Would it be productive for a maple to hold onto its color because it wanted to keep the beauty of the leaves?

Our current society seems to crave constant change. We upgrade our phones, replace furniture, buy clothes, or switch jobs. And yet, on the inside, we often remain the same—busy, striving, wanting. What would happen if instead we switched that up and kept all our externals as they are and simply shifted our approach to things? For example, keep the same computer but interact with it differently. Perhaps happily and excitedly in the summer, slowing things down as the leaves begin to fall, becoming slightly dormant as decomposing matter creates nutrients for the roots, and then to complete the cycle by giving birth to creativity through the computer while new leaves appear as buds.

With that idea alive in my mind, I walked home, turned on my computer and typed out this article. Causing me to wonder, would I be able to live that idea? My conclusion is yes. But it wouldn’t mean doing nothing in the winter, and certainly not giving up writing. Which reminds me that we all have a personal rhythm. Sometimes it seems completely contrary to society or even to nature. However, it is our very own, making it worth listening to, respecting, trusting and living out.

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