Buried Treasure

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. – Jesus (Luke 12:34)

I remember gazing at a drop of dew clinging to the underside of a branch on a little peach tree my boyfriend had given me. For an extended time I watched how the sunlight broke into rainbows within that single drop and how multi-faceted lights burst forth again from the drop, like another twenty new-born suns.  At the idealistic age of seventeen I decided that I’d never need a diamond ring, and that as long as I stayed close to nature, I’d never need to buy anything beautiful.

When I was young I couldn’t have imagined a time when I could not lose myself in nature. Sitting upon the giant branch of a great oak, losing time, myself, my body; watching, listening, absorbing and becoming scents and birdsong, insects, light, ambient sound and air moving dust and leaves, becoming ONE with all that I saw and heard and felt. I became the catbird’s throaty cry, my heart fluttered with the silent golden swallowtail, my body swayed imperceptibly in the far branches touched by breeze, my soul shaped into thousands of unique leaves.

Life’s batterings gave me coats of mail, of steel, of ice against all feeling. I wonder if the task of these latter years of life is to shed those layers and find my self, the self born to love the blossom and the scent of oak loam? Can I possibly enter once again like an acrobat into the pan-pipe call of the wood thrush? Can I become once again the light and the shadow at play upon the dewy lawn?

Emerson said, To the dull mind all nature is leaden. To the illumined mind the whole world burns and sparkles with light. But it is my heart that’s leaden. My mind overactive. This life of prayer we live: chanting, gardening, enjoying the fruits of our labor in the rich soil, we live a life of reparation on behalf of the poisoned planet. The farm is “growing us”. We mean to help heal Earth. Mother Earth, help heal me.

(photo by Bill Consiglio: luna moth)

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