Saturday, October 31, 2015

Celebrating Rainy Days

Today I went for an afternoon saunter in a light rain. Sometimes rainy days are the best! I wonder why I don't do a better job of getting out in all sorts of weather? All weather has its own beauty. Why not celebrate it?

Halloween selfie. See how I dressed up like a grizzled old man?

Sassafras and Maple


Morning Color

On the last morning of October, I'm thankful I had time to savor the color. I don't know about you, but I kind of enjoy overcast and rainy days in the fall. The colors seem to stand out even more in subdued light.

Smooth Sumac, Yellow (aka, Tulip) Poplar, and Sycamore

Sumac impression and detail

Smooth Sumac

Monday, October 26, 2015

Beauty Everywhere

Every part of nature has its own beauty. Even poison ivy can be beautiful for those who dare see.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Autumn Observed

When you have a few minutes on an autumn day, the best advice I can give is to find a woods and walk in. Walk into the color. Move around slowly. Look around. Absorb the fall atmosphere. Soak in autumn's ephemeral tints. See and smell and feel the changing of the seasons. Autumnal hues don't last long, and a moment unobserved is lost.

If you are lucky, and probably more easily if you're alone, you may experience something rare, something beyond normal daily life. I'll leave it to you to name your experience, but I urge you never to let go of the mystery.

It may only last a moment, but it will feel something like a combination of harmony, peace, and beauty. Rare as such moments are, genuine encounters with wild beauty transcend our normal life. Or least that's how it seems.

I can't help but wonder, though, if such luminous, transcendent experiences have to be rare? Could it be that such moments are really just times when we're reconnecting to old forgotten relationships? I tend to think the transcendent would be common if only we were open to it. Revelation is often a mere unveiling of what was there all along.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Fight the Disconnect

Go outside. Don't just think outside your boxes; go outside. Recycling, hybrid cars, and worrying about climate disruption is not enough. Despite our current fascination with "green living," unless a bunch of us actually go outside and spend time in nature, our society will become more and more disconnected from the earth. How can our children ever feel the sense of wonder found in wild nature if they never go outside? I'm afraid this problem is bigger and more pervasive than we think it is. I think most of us spend a lot more time than we realize indoors looking at digital screens. Ultimately, our disconnect with nature might be the biggest threat to finding balance and preserving our own habitat.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Timeless Provision

The past returns to us in tastes and smells. Sometimes all it takes for me is one ripe pear and I'm transported to Newark, Delaware, sometime around 1976, as I park my bike against a fence to look for grounded pears beneath an ancient tree.

The tree grew next to a roadside fence marked "No Trespassing" along a winding road through the midst of a game preserve owned by the DuPont family. I remember the pear tree was also near an old stone barn, an ancient barn, the kind familiar to locals scattered throughout the region.

I don't remember if the tree's trunk was inside or outside the fence, but its pears dropped in the soft grass alongside the road, sweet and free for the taking. A long ago farmer may have planted the tree, but it no longer had a caretaker. Nor did it need one. The tree simply was. It was wild and free. And it fed a deep hunger.