Carmel at the Santa Lucia Preserve, an idyllic retreat among lichen dripping oaks, green slopes, vistas, birds, deer, and coyote. The alive ecosystem of the coastal environment is present in a vital way to this tired body. Yesterday’s wedding already a fading memory. The Barn, the view of the mountains for the ceremony, the relaxed vibe, all a part of me now, but I’m present in this moment without reflection on yesterday.
It’s all about the trees here. The way they stand in artistic poses and profound presence. They are peace and calm.
And the quiet! It seems they are thinking deep thoughts, still becoming more. It is a vital pervading mood that permeates – introspective and wise.
I am out with the trees now. Sweet soft breeze. They receive what’s offered with such grace. Later there will be a wild wind and a hot sun, and they will provide respite for some winged ones. They will shelter dozing deer, and yawning coyotes. They will talk to their brethren and commune with the others. Later still they will enjoy a moon bath and stellar sparkling light on their leaves. Their roots will reach deeper into the earth and their crown to the heavens with their hearts wide open to all that is. These trees.
“The difference in mind between man and the higher animals, great as it is, certainly is one of degree and not of kind.”
Bears are not companions of men, but children of God, and His charity is broad enough for both. Yet bears are made of the same dust as we, and breathe the same winds and drink of the same waters. A bear’s days are warmed by the same sun, his dwellings are overdomed by the same blue sky, and his life turns and ebbs with heart-pulsings like ours and was poured from the same fountain…”
– John Muir
“Not speaking and speaking are both human ways of being in the world, and there are kinds and grades of each. There is the dumb silence of slumber or apathy; the sober silence that goes with a solemn animal face; the fertile silence of awareness, pasturing the soul, whence emerge new thoughts; the alive silence of alert perception, ready to say, “This… this…”; the musical silence that accompanies absorbed activity; the silence of listening to another speak, catching the drift and helping him be clear; the noisy silence of resentment and self-recrimination, loud and subvocal speech but sullen to say it; baffled silence; the silence of peaceful accord with other persons or communion with the cosmos.”
So many silences, a profound collection. To these eloquent words of Goodman’s I would add, the silence of being one with nature, and in awe of the beauty and connections …
“Go and love someone exactly as they are. And then watch how quickly they transform into the greatest, truest version of themselves. When one feels seen and appreciated in their own essence, one is instantly empowered.”
“Respect the man of noble races other than your own, who carries out, in a different place, a combat parallel to yours — to ours. He is your ally. He is our ally, be he at the other end of the world. Love all living things whose humble task is not apposed in any way to yours, to ours: men with simple hearts, honest, without vanity and malice,
and all the animals, because they are beautiful, without exception and with exception indifferent to whatever idea there may be. Love them, and you will see the eternal in the glance of their eyes of jet, amber, or emerald.
Love also the trees,
the water that runs through the meadow and on to the sea without knowing where it goes;
love the mountain,
the immense sky, full of light or full of clouds; because all these exceed man and reveal the eternal to you”