whenever i need a center point, i remember the consistent feeling of earth beneath my feet; the sun, moon and stars, all moving in their own cycles and rhythms of return. i think of all the other animal life extending into the woods around me, their fluid nature, gathering food, nurturing their young, making shelter. i think of the wendell berry poem: When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free. . . . i remember we are wild things, animal too—whose body & truth is tethered to earth and nurtured/shaped by the rules of nature. that i will eventually return to the dark from where i came (and with this i remember how much i then know it ) and in the meantime i’ll do my best to listen, love, and exist humbly in my place on this earth, nestled into the music of the rest of it. walking around last night in the dark, breathing in and exchanging air with the trees i thought of all of the above and took great rest thinking of bears, which i often do—their willingness to go quiet, to go deep. to protect themselves and their family, to know when to emerge. playful & fierce, when young and old. and the next morning,
fresh prints in the snow. noticing is one practice of a way of knowing.