Field Notes: Late Fall 2021
I almost said
“How are you?” my friend Sarah asks as we walk along the river and across a hayfield with our dogs, Bean and Asha.
After a pause, I reply, “I almost said, ‘I’m better, thanks,’ but that implies something was wrong. There’s nothing wrong about the anger that has been churning within, uncomfortable though it has been. Today the churning is quieter.”
Letter to myself after reading Hafiz
(With thanks to Debora Seidman for the writing prompt.)
Why You Came Here
You, that came to birth in order to bring the mysteries back to life
All of you who came to life to bring the wonder back
Your voice, your song makes all the creatures very happy
So please start singing from your soul
You came to experience and express wonder.
You came to sing from your soul.
You question whether this matters in a climate crisis that is so big and it feels like nothing will change, especially because humans in the Global North are so entrenched in their consumer ways.
What matters now is that you consider that expressing your anger is a form of singing from your soul. Your hurt soul. Music isn’t always harmonious and melodic. Clashing cymbals, pounding drums, the baritone notes of the euphonium you used to play can give your song life.
What matters now is that you explore this anger with the same gentleness, wonder and curiosity with which you explored the seed pod you found on your walk – turning the tan sphere around in your hand, touching the prickly exterior, peering into the loofah-like interior.
Your soul is angry.
Your heart is hurt, broken.
Sing about that on a mid-December day when it’s 54°F.
Finally! Oh, the joy of anticipation as I bundle up for our walk.
Asha and I are the first dog and human to leave our tracks in the snow along this section of the trail this morning. We smell and see evidence of furry four-leggeds and feathered two-leggeds and my heart smiles, then greets the tiny birch seeds scattered on this fresh canvas like familiar friends.
Later I slip on a rock, hidden beneath this white layer, and remember snow’s ability to both reveal and conceal.
You may also like:
Fall 2021 – Second annual Gentian Day; Sitting with Tea and Tang; Eyes-closed listening; Not alone: Companions in the woods; Learning a new language: Then and now
Summer 2021 – Stretching lessons; No stepping stones; A red-feathered lesson in priorities
Spring 2021 – A change within; How I spent the morning; Glide; The time it takes; A glimpse
Winter 2020/2021 – Circle in the snow; Snow: Beyond shoveling; Returning
Fall 2020 – On a path; Treasure; November