Monday, January 18, 2010

To Look, To See



Ancient wisdom suggests we look at each day not as if it was our last, but with new eyes, as if every day was our first. Finding that thought compelling, I step out into the sunrise and am struck by the beauty and the mystery of everything around me. I leave my yard to walk along the edge of the pond in the growing light and watch the sun coat the ripples with silver. Last year’s dried oak leaves dance toward me in a sudden gust of wind. I look up and my eye is caught by the movement of small birds high over the pond, swallows perhaps. They are too far up for me to tell, but their joy is clear as they swoop and rise and sail out over the water and back, diving and skimming and soaring again and again. The sun touches the undersides of their wings so that they seem to float on feathers of pure light.

The wind swoops through the tops of the pines, rushing from one to the next, whispering green secrets. The boughs rise and fall as though breathing and I am caught up in the sound and the rhythmic dance of dark needles against blue sky. Then the wind is at my feet, whirling the loose snow into miniature cyclones before blowing off across the open fields, losing itself in the woods at meadow’s edge.

Later in the afternoon and into the evening as the light wanes and the day’s colors melt into darkness, I will walk again beside the pond, watching the water, different water now, new water, make its way to the falls. I will understand again that nothing lasts, though nothing appears to change, and tomorrow and tomorrow I will see again with new eyes the same ordinary things.

12 comments:

Tabor said...

Miracles are hardly ordinary.

riseoutofme said...

I'm wishing for some of what you have, Oh Serene One.

Molly said...

Your descriptions take my breath away!

Pauline said...

I don't know, Tabor - I think they might be but we're just not paying attention so they appear, well - miraculous...

Rise - it's yours.

Molly - what a marvelous thing to say!

patteran said...

I'm currently reading Cormac McCarthy's 'The Road', in which the landscape is universally blasted and bleak, everything rendered monochrome under floating ashes in the aftermath of some apocalyptic disaster. So your reflections on the 'ordinary miracle' (a perfectly acceptable pairing in which paradox creates emphasis) of the natural environment around you was something of a tonic!

Incidentally, 'The Road' is a quite extraordinary book - somewhat to do, in fact, with the 'ordinary miracle' of humanity in absolute adversity.

PATERIKA HENGREAVES, Poet Laureate said...

Oh, the awesomeness of nature truly captured here. The reading of this post was most enjoyable. Thank you.

Pauline said...

Dick, thanks and I'm glad my walk provided a counterpoint to the blasted landscape in the book! I've read two Cormac McCarthy books - The Border trilogy and No Country for Old Men. Nww I shall have to read The Road.

Paterika, thanks for stopping by to read and leaving such a wonderful comment!

Roberta S said...

Pauline, it is so truly extraordinary how you see ordinary things. So pleasant to view them with you.

Pauline said...

Thanks, Roberta! Come walk with me anytime.

Barbara said...

Where there's water, things are never the same twice!

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

This way, the same ordinary things are always new and exciting.

I used to teach nature writing as well.

Sky said...

what a delight to see your comment today and FIND you again. i have tried and tried to access your blog, but i kept getting the message that the page no longer existed. i was stunned and tried again another day and another day, over and over. all efforts brought the same results. when i used your name on your comment on my own blog to link me to your blog today i found your page here with no indication it was a different blog! i went back to my "favorites" and clicked your blog again and got the same error message! i looked at the url and it was different from the one linked by your name. i don't know how this could have happened. did you change the url to your blog? it is all so strange to me. i saved the address here to my "favorites" and deleted the other to be sure i could return!

what a treat for my eyes, for my spirit, for my imagination. as i read these words my mind travels with you, seeing what your words shape into vision, and suddenly i am there, seeing along with you. thank you for this wonderful gift!