Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Morning Light Comes Tapping at the Lid

The Unextinguished

Clouds glow like coals just fresh from fire, a flare
Of western light leaps with intenser blaze
To conflagration in the upper air.
All distant shapes turn brighter to the gaze.
The fire of heaven dies; a fire unseen
Wanes to the febrile smoldering of sleep;
Deep-hidden embers, smothered by the screen
Of flesh, burn backward to a blackened heap.
But morning light comes tapping at the lid,
Breaks up the crust of cinders that remain,
And pokes the crumbled coal the ashes hid,
Until thought crackles white across the brain.

--Theodore Roethke

This is one of my favorite scenes to photograph.  It's on my way to work, looking east toward the mountains with the sun rising behind.  There is a stop sign on the country road I drive, due to a structural problem with one lane; instead of fixing it, they just reduced the road to one lane and both sides of the stretch have to stop and take turns.  There are a couple of interesting things about this, I think.  One is that if another car is on the other side, it's always a competition about who goes second.  Every time I see a car approaching from the other side I slow down, ensuring the other car reaches its stop sign first and therefore takes the lane before me.  Despite this,  the other car always waits me out and I end up going first, giving a hearty wave as I pass.  Second, I used to blow through the stop sign if no one's on the other side, but since a friendly, merciful Johnny Law reminded me that it is a STOP sign, I now stop every time, and I relish it!  It gives me time to pause and look at the beauty before me, a physical stopping and a mental stopping.  Stop hurrying, stop worrying, take a photo maybe, and just be in this exact moment.  

In other news, we got a DOG!  Oakley is an 11 month old Australian Shepherd and he is absolutely wonderful in every way.  

Thanks to this dear dog, I get to go on lots of walks.  Beautiful, long walks.  This is the best thing that has happened to me in a long time. When Oakley and I walk on the trail, we are in a rhythm, we are in the zone.  We break from the trail when we see a path leading away into the open space.  Off goes the leash and I open up my stride and just breath in the air, trying to make it a part of me:  the heavy scent of plum blossoms, swamp cabbage, moss, and water.
This is Harris Creek, taken from a foot bridge. I always stop here and contemplate the world.
Looking out, beyond the trail, dreaming of roaming the where-ever.
Always remember that love is all around.  Look for it and you will see.
Here, there is no rule that weeds can't be beautiful.
And floods either for that matter!
Take a minute and smell the flowers.
And smile. Just smile.