Rather than join the programmed hive mind in frenzied Black Friday “shopping” for mostly unneeded “consumer goods” that amplify the onrushing rapacious bleeding dry of dear Earth’s finite resources, I decided to go to the forest, where I could commune with the natural world in life’s hushed, seasonal quiescence.
A few miles north of where I live sits Griffy Lake —
a reservoir that used to feed Bloomington water, until the Corps of Engineers dammed and flooded the hollows of hilly farmed and wooded land south of us, terraforming that land into Lake Monroe, which, since 1965, is the largest body of water in Indiana.
The scale of these two maps is vastly different. Griffy Lake is teensy. Here’s Lake Monroe (in blue) with reference to both Bloomington and Indianapolis, if you get the picture . . .
Oops! I said Indiana above, but I meant InDiana, because that’s where puppy Shadow and I went, this morning, into the Goddess of the Woodlands that cushion Griffy Lake and the creek that feeds into it. The morning was cloudy, trees bare, showing brown, silver, pewter — same colors as puppy Shadows’s, and my, hair! Thus I christen this sweet place, on a morning near the end of November, “Shadowlands.”
P.S. Diana was also Goddess of the Hunt, and we heard shots firing in the distance, so quiescence was periodically disturbed and Shadow and I both wore orange.
Yep! Except for bits of green moss here and there, and intrepid geese (above) cutting through thin ice, Griffy Lake is a pretty desolate place this time of year. Or it seems like it. We are now plunging into the season of loss and decay and nostalgia. A subtle, shadowy time, harboring more dark than light, it nourishes the inner life of contemplation and remembrance. Yet who knows how many billions of seeds rest cushioned by soil and leaves, awaiting spring’s force that bursts through death? Who knows how many little and larger animals and reptiles lie curled up below, dreaming, awaiting spring’s greening?
Yes, who knows what the life force really is? Where does it come from? How and why does it continues to bless us, year in and year out, despite all our conscious and unconscious attempts to kill this beautiful planet so that we may just move on to another?
I imagine most of the deer have fled to town, where they can’t be hunted.