Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The Peace of Wild Things

0801 Bushwalk mosaic
Originally uploaded by rooruu.

Come for a walk. It's not far, and it's pretty flat, but you might walk into the odd spiderweb or two. Stay on the path, so the bush around it isn't trampled - but there is so much to see. Every colour of green and grey and brown you can imagine, in bark and branch, twig, leaf, above your head, all around, under your feet.

Stop for a moment and listen. The cicadas are singing, as they do in summer, but the trees hide birds - can you pick the raucous call of the white cockatoos? But there are many more, softer, some melodic, some repetitive - now and then you'll catch their flight, or be able to tell, at least, which tree they're in.

Watch the how the sunlight falls, the dappling of shade, the brightness of the water. Where it's still, notice how the lagoon returns a reflection of all it sees. See how the bark is a roadmap of time passing, the scribbling tracks of insects, the ruffle of paperbark.

Even the ground beneath your feet has things to show you - a necklace twig of fallen eucalpyt leaves, the tonal changes on a bushrock, the sharp and gentle shapes of leaf litter.

The easiest birds to see are the ducks - you could stop awhile near there, where you can see the water and watch them wonder if you did bring some bread for them. Sit down, and listen. Let your eyes see what can be seen, your ears hear what can be heard. There's a light wind, and you're sitting in the shade, but it's not cold. The air is clean and clear, with the freshness of early morning. It smells and sounds and feels like summer.

The poem that comes to your mind - and you wish you had learned it by heart, instead of clutching at snatches and phrases - is by Wendell Berry, "The Peace of Wild Things".

It ends: For a time/ I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Happy New Year.

If you click on the mosaic, it will take you to a larger version of the image in Flickr so you can see more detail.

1 comment:

meggie said...

I enjoyed sharing your delightful bushwalk. Thankyou for sharing.

One of the benefits of blogging has been the fact that I notice so much more, since I began to take photographs.