We sleep, but the loom of life never stops and the pattern which was weaving when the sun went down is weaving when it comes up tomorrow.
~Henry Ward Beecher
“Once I saw a chimpanzee gaze at a particularly beautiful sunset for a full 15 minutes, watching the changing colors [and then] retire to the forest without picking a pawpaw for supper.”
~Adriaan Krotlandt, Dutch ethologist
I went to bed and woke in the middle of the night thinking I heard someone cry, thinking I myself was weeping, and I felt my face and it was dry.
Then I looked at the window and thought: Why, yes, it’s just the rain, the rain, always the rain, and turned over, sadder still, and fumbled about for my dripping sleep and tried to slip it back on.
After weeks of dry weather and only an occasional shower, it was relief to wake to the pattering and dripping, an old familiar friend returned in the dark of night.
Weeping clouds and misty eyes are not always from sadness. They can shed sweet tears, wistful wondrous full-to-the-brim tears.
This is how it was as I slipped a dripping sleep back on, lulled by the rhythm of the drops. This is how it is this morning capturing each one where it landed before it disappears forever.
My face will remain damp with the memory.
“Warm summer sun, shine kindly here;
Warm southern wind, blow softly here;
Green sod above, lie light, lie light –
Good night, dear heart, good night, good night.”
August rushes by like desert rainfall,
A flood of frenzied upheaval,
But still catching me unprepared.
Like a match flame
Bursting on the scene,
Heat and haze of crimson sunsets.
Like a dream
Of moon and dark barely recalled,
Shadows caught in a blink.
Like a quick kiss;
One wishes for more
But it suddenly turns to leave,
Dragging summer away.
– Elizabeth Maua Taylor, August
“Let me enjoy this late-summer day of my heart while the leaves are still green and I won’t look so close as to see that first tint of pale yellow slowly creep in. I will cease endless running and then look to the sky ask the sun to embrace me and then hope she won’t tell of tomorrows less long than today. Let me spend just this time in the slow-cooling glow of warm afternoon light and I’d think I will still have the strength for just one more last fling of my heart.”
– John Bohrn, Late August
He loved to ask his mother questions. It was the pleasantest thing for him to ask a question and then to hear what answer his mother would give. Bambi was never surprised that question after question should come into his mind continually and without effort.
Sometimes he felt very sure that his mother was not giving him a complete answer, was intentionally not telling him all she knew. For then there would remain in him such a lively curiosity, such suspicion, mysteriously and joyously flashing through him, such anticipation, that he would become anxious and happy at the same time, and grow silent.
~Felix Salten from Bambi
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?
– Mary Oliver, “The Summer Day”
Sometimes it is enough to kneel in the grass to capture the right light at the precise moment it is sent from above. It is prayer to be blessed so, prayer to pay attention, prayer to be grateful for that moment. I find myself on my knees often these days because it all will be gone too soon, much too soon.
What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and wildness?
Let them be left,O let them be left, wildness and wet,
Long live the weeds and the wildness yet.
~Gerard Manley Hopkins from “Inversnaid”
Maybe I identify with weeds as I too have grown a bit “excessive” in mid-life, growing unnecessarily and a bit fluffier than I need be. Maybe I admire their ability to thrive where they land, resilient through all sorts of trials and deprivation. Certainly they deserve appreciation for their wildly unique characteristics and their perfect imperfections. Once I get to know them, their beauty brings me joy.
I can only hope I too can be left, my over-proliferation shown grace, my greediness granted mercy.
In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect.
…if the simple things in nature have a message you understand,
Rejoice, for your soul is alive.
Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.
~A. A. Milne
…make no mistake: the weeds will win; nature bats last.
~Robert M. Pyle