“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.”
Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
My reserves are dwindling. There is only a small number of insects in my garden compared to earlier years. Buddleias, butterfly bushes, attract only a few each year, rather than the veritable hordes of a few years ago. A clear summer – clear skies, clear of insects. I rescue bees exhausted from the heat and drought. Various insects, birds, and mammals visit water receptacles I fill. My garden turns brown; I water the buddleias and am rewarded by the butterflies’ return.
I wander in the woods on too, too hot days, breathing in rich smells, filling my eyes with dappled green leaves, being tickled by bracken, resting in shade offered by venerable trees, marveling in the ancient wisdom of boulders. Sitting on the earth I am not swarmed by the small beings that live there – because there are not so many of them now. Struggling, I remember I come to the woods to find solace and assurance. Relaxing into the present, connecting with all beings, sentient and non-sentient, heals me, just for today. Enough to fill my reserves….just for today.
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
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