This is what we are
It’s Easter Sunday. We’re all chilling out this morning after enjoying some gorgeous weather (70 degrees, sunny) and outdoor activity yesterday.
The new puppy Ella has fit in wonderfully with our family. She and Max (our other older dog) are having a riot together. After some initial problems with Max not knowing how to react to this little upstart chasing him and nipping at him, Max has finally, and with amazing gentleness, put her in her place. They’re now having a great time chasing each other around the yard and playing tug-of-war with the rope toy. Max always loved tug-of-war with me, but now that he has another dog to do it with he’s very happy! He’s like a puppy again himself and getting more exercise than ever.
Arthur and I went on a rock-gathering excursion yesterday in some woods near the railroad tracks. We hung out by a burbling stream that is much wider than usual after all the rain we’ve had. Tiny green leaves were beginning to burst out of their buds. New life is everywhere! When we got home I felt so good to be digging in the earth again, putting new rocks in the gardens and transplanting a shrub.
On Friday Arthur went off to the Buffalo Science Center with a friend and Stephanie and Fiona went to Batavia. So I got to go wandering all by myself through the fields and forests that I’ve wandered in for forty years.
Wearing my waders, I sloshed back into the deep, swampy parts of the wood that are usually inaccessible. Over ancient stone walls where deer scampered from my sight. Through thickets brimming with new buds and fields flowing with green through winter’s faded brown husks. It was glorious! Birds chirped and sounds of woodpeckers echoed through distant galleries of vine-tangled trunks. A great Blue Heron took flight and glided past me deeper into the gray veil of the forest. I even heard the first Spring Peepers chirping off in the far swamps. And all the while, the sounds of honking geese drifted from the distance. I just LOVE this brief moment of the year, when new life is in the process of emerging.
And as my consciousness is immersed in the sensations of life all around me, the wind picks up. It fills my nostrils with wonderful wet smells; the far-off aroma of manure spread on a field in anticipation of the plow. I’m standing on the far side of the forest staring across distant meadows and tree-lines and cloud-tossed light. The sun peeks through and I think, this is what we are: dark earth and rippling water, the warmth of sunlight and a fresh spring wind.
My sense of self has gradually dropped away. Once again I have melted into everything around me until only nature is real. I am Life and this is Life all round me, in me. I guess this is why the Ancients distilled it all down to Earth, Water, Fire and Air. The basic elements of Life. When I strip away every idea I have of myself, this connection I feel now in nature is really what I am. This ebb and flow. Life.