Friday, May 25, 2007

The Water Of Life

It had rained, and it would likely rain some more. But, at least for the moment, there was blue sky in the north, so I headed out with my camera.

The recent rains had fueled the lush, green juggernaut of spring. I plunged into woods surrounding Beaver Brook, overwhelmed by green. Droplets splattered around me, shaken from leaves by the wind. I could almost hear things pushing up out of the earth, spreading, drinking, blooming.

Water coursed through channels,

pooled in holes,

hung from blades.

Overhead and underfoot and all around me green clasped and unclasped green, clasped and unclasped me.

I was in danger of becoming greenblind; I longed for Photoshop's desaturate --

So I fled. I fled across the dog park, past cavorting poodles and terriers and retrievers, past their owners, chatting in casual little groups. I veered off into the woods and crossed the small red bridge over Beaver Brook. I noticed green knives thrusting up out of the shallows.

One short path and a small hill lay between me and sanctuary: the tracks.

The final wasteland home of last season's weeds.

Amidst the battered hillside stand of Dutch rush, a few had kept their regal heads.

Some even seemed to sing.

and singing, praise the mercy/that prolongs thy days.

But most were brittle, bleached and bent.

Here, even the new growth seemed worn and world-weary.

A few old weeds enjoyed a fleeting, final luster,

and some even seem to rise like genies into brilliant light,

but, in the end, Yeats was right. This green spring

is no country for old men.

Or women, for that matter, I thought as a bruise-colored cloudbank gathered over the tracks and began to rumble thunder. Even new green seemed old, old, old. I too was clearly green: jaded. Was there nothing new under the sun ?

Thunder again. I turned and headed back. It had rained, and it was fixing to rain some more. The wind rose a little. I shivered in the cool breeze and tried to shake off the oily trackside melancholy I'd sought out. I'd just been confirmed, after all, not 24 hours prior. And that reached back through the decades to my baptism, that greenest of immersions, that watery death, which makes all that follows perpetually new. I thought of all the amazing things my camera and I had seen, and would see, the pure grace, the pure delight, the pure gift of being alive.

What happens when you sprinkle a little water on a thick-skinned, involuted gall ?

A miracle !

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