As I get older I understand the value of taking the turn in the road. To go around the bend and see what’s up ahead and expose oneself to what is wholly unfamiliar. These are the points past what you usually travel. I’ve found little wineries this way and farmer’s markets, on what I thought were dead end roads. Old train cars left in the middle of deserts and wood sculptures whittled by hand from stumps. Mostly, I’ve discovered myself. Versions of me I hadn’t seen in awhile or new shades of the me I thought I knew. I can’t fall back on the familiar or the tried and true, when I take the trail that winds mysteriously into a wood. I have to re-invent, if just a little. Lost I pull out my best skills and wield a craft I didn’t know I possessed. I see the world with different eyes, and dig deeper into pockets for penny treasures I hadn’t found reason to use. There’s power in facing the unknown you. It makes your insides worldly, in much the same way traveling abroad does. It expands your view on who you think you are.
The further on my path I travel, the more captivated I am with the patterns that appear in the mist. There is a sacredness to everything from leaf to the milking of cows.
“There is geometry in the humming of the strings, there is music in the spacing of the spheres.” Pythagoras
Forgive the alliteration it was just too easy. Still, lying in the dirt for this shot, it seemed even I had become part of the scenery, the view. Amazing how much more beautiful the Earth is when you are lying close enough to smell her beauty. To see, up close, how curious and graceful her surface truly is.
The sliver of window holds the field and the wood beyond. My eye catches the green as I peruse the book. In the cold and rain I shall not venture further, yet I feel muddy grass beneath my feet. In the quiet of the house, there lacks the tapping of rain drops swapping leaves, as they roll ever downward to the earth. Pages turning and ticking clock are a paltry company by comparison to the flooding ravines. Fiddlehead ferns breaking mulch dance about my mind interrupting this tale of woes and dragons, forgotten in my lap. For the confinement of dry and warm blankets I gave up the wind rushing my face and rattling my jacket sleeves. Such adventures of wet crows and dark fox burrows have I missed in this warm and dry corner of my house.
“The older I get, the more I feel…. beautiful.” Sharon Olds
The trail is long as a river in the grass. Sand lilies grace the trail dwarfed now and then by soapweed yucca. In this vastness, the short and tall grasses each belong to me, as surely as the wild sky. Storm clouds gloom, but the rainbow only laughs. The sun has broken through and crickets sun themselves on drying stones. They snap and sing, flying just ahead of me into the sagewort and buffalo grass. I hear the mountain plover and the meadowlark close and far, but they are nothing more than flickers in my peripheral vision. So much moves in this rolling prairie, but always sees me before I see it. Still, I do not hunger for company in such a crowd of scrappy rabbits and field mice. If I keep my pace, I may find the pot of gold before the light winks night.
I’ll confess I like WalMart’s parking lots. I don’t shop the store much, but I tend to roam around with my camera in the parking lot. You find the most wondrous stains outside their stores. Coffee, milk, ice cream and other unidentifiable substances.
Here I give you spilled milk. No tears shed.
Not everyone at the edge is leaping towards death. They aren’t all desperately escaping grief and depression. Some of us come to the edge to see who we are in the air. Then the water. The chance to leap, a joy hungered for. For surely, there is exhilaration in risking everything to become who you truly are. In the quiet corners of our lives we daydream of how water transforms.
Celebrate your ragged edges and your patched up holes. You are, at once, as common as a white button and as wild as the Helix nebula exploding in the constellation of Aquarius.