Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wild Places

The photo above was taken yesterday, at a place called Cascade Head on the Oregon coast.

It barely hints at the beauty I was immersed in, so I know I'm going to have to write about it, when it settles into my interior long enough for me to dredge up the (really inadequate) words. I want to take you with me, somehow, to that wild place where meaning is made. I want to show the true intelligence and healing power of this world.

I've never been a sign-carrying activist, but being here in such a fantastic array of life makes the importance of honoring and respecting it quite obvious. A human would have to be truly calloused to walk through this without feeling some kind of love.

On that note, I'm posting this love letter from my journal:

I was a dream of green hills rolling into and around each other like otters divine, a reasonless playing of fir-and-aspen crested ridges and congealed volcanic falls. Survival has nothing to do with this being; my flowing waves of life and death are what they are. And so, people sometimes come and tear every last green thing from this earth for miles and miles.

Clearcuts can be a shock to a system humming along on forested autopilot on a bright, distinct morning--especially when encased in automobile, where the telltale thinning of bird and insect chatter can't be heard and unbuffered wind can't be felt. One moment was the swaying conifer dance and the flash of doe or squirrel through a shaft of light; the next, a great basin of barren mounds receding as far as I could see. The landmarks are suddenly red, gutted roads and abandoned piles of forlorn slash. I am astounded at the thoroughness of this forced stripping, the complete disregard evident in beer cans and lunchtime trash. Did any of the people involved in this rape stop and look behind them when they left the scene? Did anyone feel some kind of violation?

I quit the car and walk in the absence for a while, until the angry questions cease and heart opens.

Here I am, stretched out post-attack, beauty spilled in the rivulets running unchecked down exposed flanks. Ferns shrivel in the direct sun and water pools like sweat in the hollows of stumps. But I am...I am, patient, unafraid dignity, steady redirection, quiet recovering of grace in the chaos, no matter what shadow of mine pretends an ownership of this sovereign queen. I am the hungry, booted feet and hands gloved for the saw, and my thoughtlessness, if that's what it is, cannot diminish this living fact I pretend not to notice.

Nothing can cut the sweetness and power of this being. I travel the length of the scar in awe, in prayer, in teaching, in seeing, and come away healed as She always was, dreaming otters back to life.

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