Monday, December 13, 2010

Ozarks 14.9.03: Gilded Pines and Dragons in the Deeps

Sun comes late in the morning to our little valley.  It's like being in the bottom of a bowl, or underwater, and seeing light touch the top before it slowly creeps into the depths.

As I've been sitting, it has finally illuminated the little opening--a very tiny meadow, mostly water--through which the creek flows to empty into the waterfalls.  On the south side of the cabin near the east corner, I look up to see if I can catch sight of a bird high in the sunny trees, chortling repetitively.  I see a pine whose top is beautifully gilded, and a dead tree whose trunk now looks like an uplifted horse's head, watching the cabin.  It's like being at the bottom of an ocean, with the complex rich life of down there, and looking up startled to discover there's an equally complex rich up there, going on independent of down here.

I now realize why it always seems there are so few birds here.  The waterfall and creek are so loud, you hear only the most vocal birds.  And with trees so thick and the darkness well after dawn, it's hard to spot them at the time of day birds normally call loudest.

Gorgeous light.  What would one do without it?  I think this as it just catches, glances off, the gilded blotches of the picture on the front of the volume of Rumi's poems beside me.  I've just read there:

Dear heart, you are so unreasonable!  First you fall in love then worry about your life.  You rob and steal then worry about the law.

You profess to be in love yet still worry about what people say.

Every morning we pray, "In his hands are the depths of the earth, and the tops of the mountains are his."  The down below and up above connect (re-ligion, tie back, etymologically) because of God.  They co-exist.  One cannot live without the other.

The beautiful jewel-green patches of moss scattered on the rock at my feet would not be jewel-green without the light from above.  And the light would have no reason to be, if it did not illuminate what's down here.

The hummingbird I saw last week, which zoomed up to a flower in front of me as I sat creekside, won't be here much longer, and may well be gone.  Gusts of north wind at my back, sending yellow leaves from the mossy failing alder at water's edge spiraling into the stream, spent for the year and ready to rise again as humus downstream.  The dogwood on the south bank has red berries, a fall temptation to the cardinals.  The wind catches and snatches out of my open journal Rumi's poem re: seeking the wisdom that unties one's knot.  Steve, sweet violet of a friend, retrieves it for me.

I just told myself to shut up and stop writing, but how can I not record these lines from the psalm to which I just happened to open:

Praise ye the Lord.  Praise ye the Lord from the heavens: praise him in the heights.  Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps (Psalm 148: 1,7).

Dragons?  Really?  King James can be so fanciful.  But liturgy is play, foolish, thrown-to-the-wind actions that have no place in the life we love to call "real."

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