Friday, November 25, 2016

The Gathering

Like strands of yarn or bits of fabric,
We gather now all the various bits and pieces of ourselves into a bundle of being.
We bundle them up, gather them together, hold them within our clumsy embrace.
Clumsy because we are new at this.
Clumsy because our hands are now so full, our sense of ourselves is so volatile,
Changing from one day to the next.
Clumsy because our gathering up continues even when we think
That perhaps we have got it all gathered in,
So busy holding all of these bits and pieces and
Strands interwoven
While at the same time
We continue to come upon more bits, more strands,
And gather them in as well.

And all of this is done in love, so that we become thick with it,
Our eyes moist and our hearts open.

This is done in a quiet imperative of pressures
Unseen, undefined,
But none the less real for us.

We do not slow ourselves in this work of gathering at this time.
If anything, we increase our pace, become ever more aware
Of even the smallest strands and pieces which have not yet been touched,
Gathered in,
Included in the wholeness of our bundled selfhood.

Why? Why do we do this? Why now?

Like peripatetic families we learn to carry all that we
Have and all that we are
More easily with us,
For we are preparing ourselves for a journey.
We will travel swiftly and travel far and we know
Somehow that the time is upon us, the time is now,
And we must prepare for the journeying, prepare for the swiftness
And the distance and the unknowns
Of our becoming.

So we gather all of our parts and pieces, all of our strands and strains of selfhood,
All of our love and all of that which is not yet love which still we have within us
And we bundle it all into a more or less unified selfhood,
A more or less streamlined package,
So that we can go the distance
At a pace
That will
Find us
Where we should be
At the dawning
Of a new Age.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Water and Light

Here are photographs of Walden Pond in Massachusetts.

These are a celebration of the exceptionally clear and clean, almost silken water of the pond and the beautiful sunset that presented itself to me when I was there. These are presented to you in the order in which they were taken as the light changed and the night came in.

And here are three more. Two were taken at a Wildlife Refuge near Concord, Massachusetts.

The third one was taken at Garden in the Woods in Framingham, Massachusetts.

Thank you for taking the time to experience the beauty of water and light through my camera lens.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Another offering of Words and Photographs

Back in 2005, I read a book by a woman named Diane Stein. It was called Earth Changes and was talking about the possibility of catastrophic events on our planet at or around the year 2012.

The year 2012 has come and gone and we are still here shining our radiance.

One small part of that book really spoke to me though. She mentioned that when we walk out of doors and have love for the world in our hearts, we send that energy to the Earth and it helps the Earth to be well and to heal in the places where it is damaged.

Over the years since I read that, I have kept it in mind and in heart and have explored it.

I recently created a YouTube project called 'Walking This Sacred Earth' that explores this idea and expands on it.

So far, there are four parts to the YouTube series. I plan to create a fifth part, Walking This Sacred Earth Off Road sometime in 2016.

For the first four parts of the series, which I really enjoyed creating and I am sure you will enjoy as well, click on these links:

Part 1 - Introduction

Part 2 - Walking in the City

Part 3 - Walking in the Suburb

Part 4 - Walking in the Country

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Walden Pond

After two days of sight-seeing and travelling, I came to Walden Pond. This is a small lake or large pond near Concord, Massachusetts. It is famous for being the place where Henry David Thoreau lived for a time in a simple cabin which he built and where he wrote his Walden - a wonderful book for those who love the world of ideas and the sharing of experiences through beautiful writing.
If you have read Annie Dillards' Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and enjoyed it, you might like to try reading Thoreau's Walden.

I read Walden when I was in high school and fell in love with the book. I bought a copy that contained images of Walden Pond and have had the intention to visit the place for many years.

So, on a hot, buggy, muggy afternoon, after long hours of driving, I arrived at Walden Pond and was instantly struck by the feel of the place. I suddenly didn't mind the bugs or the threat of rain. I didn't mind that the place was thronged with people. I didn't mind that lingering there would delay my dinner hour. I was suddenly filled with a strange and wonderful feeling of peace and quiet joy.

My travelling companion noticed it too and remarked upon how the 'energy' felt wonderful there. I agreed with her wholeheartedly.

It is no wonder to me now why Thoreau chose to live there. There is no visible outlet or inlet for the water of this very deep pond (over eighty feet deep). The water is crystal clear and feels silky to the touch. It is of an exceptional quality.

The pond has been made a state park and is protected from development. It has naturally sandy shores and a sandy bottom and is popular as a place to swim.

I have never seen a pond with such crystal clear and clean water in it. I am definitely going back to Walden Pond!

Here are some photographs, although they don't do justice to the place.

A forest of pine, oak and maple surrounds the pond on all sides.

Its banks are naturally sandy and it has a feel to it that bring peace into my heart.

This photograph is my attempt to show how clear and clean the water is. Looking down into about 10 centimeters of water.

The hillside is steep above the pond on this side. We climbed up until I was breathless, which didn't take long because of my asthma. Still, you can see how high we are as I looked down onto the pond to take this photograph.

Walden Pond sits in a natural bowl of wooded hills. It is very close to a major highway, but we heard only the sound of cars passing more slowly through the state park as a two lane road brings visitors to the pond.

Garden in the Woods

In Framingham, Massachusetts, USA there is a botanical garden specializing in species native to the northeast of North America. It is maintained by the New England Wild Flower Society.

I spent a few hours there recently. Here are some photographs that I took while I was there.

This is a celandine poppy, or wood celandine. It's not a rare species, but it's cheerful and has medicinal properties, so I like this plant. Its sap is yellow and is said to heal warts.

This is a double flowering trillium at the peak of its bloom and this little inch worm seems quite taken by it.

These are yellow lady slipper orchids at the peak of their blooming. Here in southern Quebec we have a pink lady slipper which is perhaps not quite as showy as these.

These are simple white trilliums, one of my favourite spring flowers and the provincial flower of Ontario.

These are spring phlox and after years of wanting to have this plant in my garden I was able to find and plant some just this year.

This is the flower of an azalea bush and I just happen to have caught it from a particularly pleasing angle. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

The Ocean at Dawn

I stayed in Rockport, Massachusetts after spending the afternoon at Sandy Point (see previous post). The next morning I brought out my camera for more images of the northeast coast of the United States.

The sound of the waves was hypnotizing. I only left this spot because I was getting hungry.

I watched swallows as I sat on a rock in this cove.

I couldn't resist taking a photo of this heavenly light shining onto the horizon.

At the Sea Shore

In mid-May, I went to Sandy Point State Reservation in Massachusetts, USA. This is the very tip of a long outer bank - basically a 10 kilometer long sand bank. Most of this area is called Parker River Wildlife Refuge and is a place for migrating birds to rest and for other species of birds and wildlife to nest and raise their young.

Here are some images from the afternoon that I spent there.

The rocks were such beautiful colours!

The sand was purple.

This beach is a place where nature litters. This is a wild place where people's activities are very limited. Mostly people watch for birds and enjoy the view.

I enjoyed the expanse of sky on this cloudy afternoon. The sound of the waves was so soothing as I walked barefoot in the sand.