Saturday, August 23, 2008

"Nature Does Not Stand Still"

“Nature does not stand still.”
Claude Monet

True. Everything is opening, closing, blossoming, withering … being carried away in a beak or jaw. The wind twists the petals of sunstruck flowers, weaves and unweaves the grass in watery patterns. Creamy cumulus clouds comb themselves into mare’s tail wisps. The human eye darts here and there, hungrily taking in all the movement, marveling at the constant, rippling change.

As I walk on my road, I sample the variety of August perfumes shifting on the warm and humid breeze. Cut grass, sunlight on damp earth -- even, on occasion, the faint skunky scent of fox at the top of the hill. Every night before I give up for the day, I stand in front of the screen doors and sniff. I take a deep breath of night air, inhaling the loose and floating molecules of the world. I imagine the nocturnal creatures digging, soaring and scurrying. (Maybe later, reading in bed, I’ll hear them moving through the woods, cracking twigs and rustling leaves.) Sometimes I step outside one more time, to see if the moon is up, to check on the constellations silently inching across the darkness. My last downstairs act is to slide the glass doors shut. I like the finality of that rolling noise, followed by the emphatic click of the latch. I can still taste the swirling night.

The photographs were taken this afternoon at Silamar Farm in Millerton, NY. Click on images to enlarge.


Pam said...

Today on my run I stopped for a few minutes to watch a hawk that had paused, and was guarding its morning snack (poor squirrel) on the side of the road. I stood still to look/the hawk swiveled its head to look and for a short while things did seem to be still before I took a step then the hawk rose with the squirrel in its talons to swoop to privacy as I continued up the road. In looking, are we making room for stillness, however brief?

Christine said...

Yes. It does seem that there are moments of rapt attention where you fall into time, or time expands to hold you. I had a similar experience with a hawk perched in a branch above me. I looked up at him, he looked down at me. This went on for quite a while. I suppose it was actually fairly brief, but it seemed intense, magical...yes, a stillness almost outside of time.