Saturday, August 9, 2014

Ancient Dreams

Last Friday evening, although I was worn out from a week too long, I went for a woodland wander after dinner. I sauntered slowly, contemplatively, with no particular destination other than just to be present in the forest.

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Walking yet not fully awake, in a sort of twilight of wakefulness, I walked among the trees and wonderied their age. This led my thinking to the people who might have walked this same ridge seven generations ago. Maybe a Shawnee or Cherokee man occasionally walked these same ridges, stopping as I do to breathe deep the forest air and feel the comfort that comes with being among big trees. Did he feel what I feel? Did he ever stand sleepy in this same spot? Did he find the old beeches and towering poplars calming? Did the giant sycamores evoke a sense of mystery and holiness? Did he too love the song of the wood thrush?

For a moment I closed my eyes,
breathed deeply as if to inhale ancient breezes
and stood in the moment,
half in a dream,
past and present.

Walking home I felt as though I had walked ancient paths,
and I vowed to return
here in the twilight.

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