Saturday, December 26, 2009
"There is no pleasing New Englanders, my dear, their soil is all rocks and their hearts are bloodless absolutes." – John Updike
Amid the riot of summer's growth, rocks are often disregarded. Staunch sentries of the forest, they lie impassive and unmoved by the frenzy of chlorophyll-fueled growth around them. By winter, their irregular form and massive heft take on a greater prominence against the bare, leafless landscape, with an intrepid beauty all their own.
"Since childhood she had walked the Devon rivers with her father looking for flowers and the nests of birds, passing some rocks and trees as old friends, seeing a Spirit everywhere, gentle in thought to all her eyes beheld."
- Henry Williamson, 1895-1977
I love looking at unusual boulders along my walks, especially if they have interesting lichens growing on them. Somehow, that bit of tenacious green seems to really stand out on a frigid, cold day.
"Study how water flows in a valley stream, smoothly and freely between the rocks. Also learn from holy books and wise people. Everything, even mountains, rivers, plants and trees, should be your teacher."
- Moriheri Ueshiba, Japanese poet, 1883-1969
These boulders looks like they were frozen in time as they tumbled down a wooded slope. Did they look just this way a thousand years ago? Will they remain for another thousand years?
What is it that we New Englanders love about a stone wall, anyway? The suggestion of order? A rough symmetry of form that marks the hand of man?