Indiana = InDiana, Goddess of the Woodland! And it sure is! Puppy Shadow and I decided to take a walk on the trails above Griffy Lake, about three miles from where we live. Hadn’t been there in a long time. A magical, spring-like summer morning, one of many here, this year, in thunderstorm-drenched, overflowing-with-abundance and beauty south central InDiana.
Within the first 100 yards, young paw paws greeted us, springing up through last year’s leaf mulch.
The light! The light! Everywhere, the dappled light, shimmering with aliveness.
Uh oh, what’s been scraping bark from this light-colored log?
In mountainous Wyoming, where I used to live, I would have suspected bears. Not here. What? Makes me think about the new, nine month immersion program that my friends Rhonda and Kevin have just announced. Check it out! This is the wave of the future, as we learn how to re-wild ourselves by rewinding our way back home to Nature.
On Saturday, the day before our magical walk, I attended a Solstice event at Rhonda’s house (forgoing my announced curmudgeon intention not to attend any of the many events to which I had been invited). After harvesting lemon balm and eating potluck, Shadow and I sat around in a circle with about a dozen others watching Rhonda and Corbin’s daughter, 12-year-old Maya, rub two sticks together in a very technical fashion for about 30 minutes. Presto! Smoke! Fire. She lit the little bundle prepared for her fire and we rejoiced at her success in having passed one of the rigors of her youth program at the Wild Nature Project.
Would I sit there and rub two sticks together until they smoked? Not unless I had to. And who knows what we will be called upon to do in the coming energy-descent future when, unless ETs and/or our clandestine military folks shower us with instantly replicable free energy technologies, at the very least we will be forced back on our own individual and community resources to the point where we relearn basic skills that, right now, we barely recognize as real, much less remember.
Oh, yes, that Solstice afternoon I also had my feet traced for a set of sandals that Corbin is going to fashion for me. Another basic skill: aside from his day job, he’s learning how to be a cobbler.
So I was thinking about all this on the trail after seeing the mysterious skinned log, when I saw another sight, this time of a “hole in being”! A see-through hole near the bottom of a large tree, most of which had cracked open and fallen to the ground within the last year or so. (I don’t remember it from before.)
This is one of those occasions where my zoom-in is also a zoom-out — to a much vaster scale, as if looking back at Earth from space . . .
Oh wow, diaphanous death, these tiny, white, nearly translucent leaves . . . Update: ommigod, a reader has pointed out to me the diaphanous man, his head so clear! in the upper middle third of the photo . . .
Where do we better come face to face with the continuous cycling of life and death, how form arises and falls out of mysterious darkness fueled by mysterious light; with the fact that our dead bodies mulch spring growth? We walk upon the bones of our ancestors, as Chief Seattle said. The forest is the greatest of teachers . . .
At some point I did “hug a tree.” I always do. Or rather, I stand there, nose touching rough bark, or back against its strong upright girth, and instantly swoon with its eternal message: Standing. Still. Spreading, above and below, roots and shoots. Reaching for the core of Earth, the starry wheeling sky, reaching for each other. COMPASSION.
And I usually (but not this time) take a picture of 0ne log fallen into the arms of another still standing tree, which holds the dead or dying one, patient, as it decomposes, little by little, year by year.
Ah, lookee here! Paw-paw leaves harboring tiny leaf (to the right) and daddy long-legs (to the left)!
We continue, now downhill, to the creek.
And finally, the finale to this Solstice/Full Moon photo journey. After walking a few minutes further on the path next to the stream, we are graced with a light-streaming tubular apparition, as if out of some mysterious faery-drenched realm that few humans are allowed to see.
I wonder: Did we receive this great vision because we had been walking for about two miles already, because we were now thoroughly immersed InDiana? Is that why she showed us who she really is?
In any case, I received the message that we were to go no further. That we were to turn around.