Friday, December 19, 2008

Ozarks 18.10.04: Old Gold Lichen and Life-Breathing Creeks

On this morning of constantly shifting light, our little valley is one moment crowned with a nimbus of gold-imbued haze, the next plunged into darkness. The bowl of the dell becomes green and gold glinting off each other, and then a dreamscape, formed as if I close my eyes.

Just now, a patch of blue above, and sun almost breaking through the swiftly scudding cumulus cloud. But the light’s milky, muted, turning the lichen that dots the rocks on the slope to the creek into old gold. Now again the dark, and the lichen’s a glowing blue-green against rain-darkened sandstone. Since I’ve been sitting early today, wind has shifted from east, bearing rain, to west, sweeping clouds away. I feel it on my back now, funneled down the stream bed.

Such beauty the world over. I’ve stood beside creeks like this in Ireland, Steve’s ancestral village in the Vulkaneifel, and in Salzburg. Everywhere that swiftly flowing water is not impeded or dirtied by human hand, it is veritable life. It breathes; it sings; it seeks a home.

People talk of gathering thoughts as if they’re so many sheep on a hillside, to be folded into a pen. Easier, though, to harness the wind, or to still one tiniest drop of this rushing rain-swollen creek. Stream of consciousness is not just an apt metaphor: it’s a scientifically precise term.

No comments: