Sunday, October 21, 2012
Under the Milky Way
It's been far too long since I've taken a walk after dark down a country road, moonlight and shadows leading the way. When I lived in my farmhouse in Ansel, I did so quite often despite the fact that I knew a bear lived nearby and a cougar visited occasionally. I just didn't let these things prevent me from being out under that moon, particularly if it was full, or if the Milky Way was ablaze across the night sky. I liked being out there, soaking it all up.
It's still quite dark, there doesn't seem to be much moonlight as I sit here writing this, waiting for the coffee to perk. Does anyone still say that anymore? Does the coffee still perk? Or have a multitude of Keurigs replaced that wait? And now I'm wondering, have I lost my nerve? Am I too concerned about meeting a bear on the road, even though it sounds like a marvelous thing to do? Oh, to meet a bear on the road, have some small bit of silent conversing there. Perhaps I should go looking for it soon, my nerve, take a walk in the moonlight - not down my driveway, I've done that a number of times - walk down the road, willing to meet whatever might be out and about, also looking up at the Milky Way, glad to be here in this beautiful world. Perhaps all those native souls that line the road and fill the woods are looking for some human company. And even if they're not, I certainly know I could use theirs.
In the meantime, I'll offer this Mary Oliver poem that took me down this path of thought:
"Some Questions You Might Ask"
Is the soul solid, like iron?
Or is it tender and breakable, like
the wings of a moth in the beak of the owl?
Who has it, and who doesn’t?
I keep looking around me.
The face of the moose is as sad
as the face of Jesus.
The swan opens her white wings slowly.
In the fall, the black bear carries leaves into the darkness.
One question leads to another.
Does it have a shape? Like an iceberg?
Like the eye of a hummingbird?
Does it have one lung, like the snake and the scallop?
Why should I have it, and not the anteater
who loves her children?
Why should I have it, and not the camel?
Come to think of it, what about the maple trees?
What about the blue iris?
What about all the little stones, sitting alone in the moonlight?
What about roses, and lemons, and their shining leaves?
What about the grass?
~ Mary Oliver
No, it's not my photo. I borrowed it from Mr. Google's wallpaper offerings.