"The Peace of Wild Things"
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.
About a month ago, we went hammock camping along the Chattooga River in Sumter National Forest. All three dogs came along and that's the first time we've ever taken all of them camping at the same time so we weren't quite sure what to expect. I had sort of envisioned a long night of Iris and Bishop barking at things rustling about in the forest and guarding camp from marauding raccoons. Or, let's be real, bears. Chris doesn't worry about the bears like I do. It was also my first full night of hammock camping and that was interesting. Not sure I don't favor tent camping over it, but we had a great time nonetheless. Except for the college kids that decided to join us out in the middle of nowhere and throw a loud and obnoxious party until about 1:00 in the morning. That was fun. Here's the thing about me and how irritated I was to have my peace and quiet interrupted: I am actually a 90 year old woman who likes quiet and dislikes the shenanigans of young people. Okay, that's not entirely true seeing as I work with "young people" and often their shenanigans are hilarious. Maybe more specifically...I don't like the shenanigans of people having parties out in the woods. When I'm trying to sleep. And trying not to worry about bears. And as Leslie Knope said on Parks & Rec, "I'm not a stick-in-the-mud! I just want to stop a party from happening." See. Not a stick-in-the-mud. I just wanted to stop their party and have my own party that involved quiet and sleeping and appreciating Nature and not being cranky.
"Places become dreams become homes become cradles for memory.
How many of us have this one in our bones somewhere, in our wishes?
No matter what toxic fallout tries to flatten me, I never forget how close I am to this bridge. And perhaps still, the wishes I had for my life when I was seventeen and hungry and new, and came across the country to be where I needed to launch into a messy, aching, beautiful life, which got me to right now.
Which can get all of us to anything."
"Oh my God, what if you wake up some day, and you're 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written; or you didn't go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It's going to break your heart. Don't let this happen."
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
from "Desiderata" by Max Ehrmann
We went hiking on the Foothills Trail last weekend and it was a glorious day for it. Autumn has been slow to arrive to South Carolina but heading into the mountains, we saw more color on the trees than in the foothills where we live which is about 40 minutes away. Within the first 10 minutes of hiking, I managed to fall on the trail but other than a tender ankle that got better with walking, I was fine. A 6 mile-ish hike was our original plan but when we got out on the trail we may or may not have gotten a little ambitious and ended up doing closer to 12 miles. Which was worth it but my feet were complaining loudly by the time we finished and I was more than ready to crash on the couch by the time we got home.
It was good to be on the trails, comfortable silence between us for some miles, talking for others. Bishop was happy. I was happy. I'm always happiest outside, adjusting my rhythm to Nature, remembering her lessons, working some things over in my head or just observing and letting my heart get quiet.
I will tell you, I really do love living in this state.
Sites I Dig
The Road is Home
The Seed & Plate
Sharon Covert Photography
The Define School
The Noisy Plume
Sarah Gee Photography
Fox & Owl Studio
The Stork and The Beanstalk
Mellow Yellow Photography
A Simple Little Journal
What I've Been Reading
The Girls by Emma Cline
A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Never Broken by Jewel
Hold Still by Sally Mann