“I’d rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than anywhere else on earth.”
– Steve McQueen
I sort of live in the middle of no-where… at least many people may think so. And I’ve thought a lot about that.
But it’s always someone’s somewhere isn’t it? These woods with the tall trees are home to fox, elk, ravens, bear, coyote, wolf, and myriad wild flowers. Life comes and goes in its natural cycle. The days too are in sweet rhythm… the whole of this living system together is complete and vibrant and I feel that way amongst this radiant Life.
Living in the middle of nowhere to me is much like the concept that the Native Americans and this land were “discovered” by Christopher Columbus. As if they didn’t exist until they were told who they were by the newcomers.
Yes, nowhere is always somebody’s somewhere. Somewhere special and unique and valued.
This particular No Where is my greatest gift.
Its quiet and wholeness help me find the essence of who I am.
“No matter how chaotic it is, wildflowers will still spring up in the middle of nowhere.”
“You will find poetry nowhere unless you bring some of it with you.”
– Joseph Joubert
Ruth Bebee Hill, in her book of the Lakota, Hanta Yo, first introduced me to the nonexistence of a “weed”. I was in my twenties when I first read her words and hadn’t thought of a weed in just that way before. In her dedication to authenticity, the author translated the entirety of her book to the Lakota language from English, then back to English again for publication (this has since been disputed). She stated that she had a deep sense that she had not captured the essence of the Lakota experience on her first try in English, and in learning the language, and therefore the worldview and conceptual landscape the culture lived in, she was able to give the reader a more true feel and understanding of the life and connections of the Lakota (ethnologists again disagree). No word for “weed” exists in the Lakota language (this I believe they do agree on!). They do not have a concept for a throw away or non-respected plant in their world. There is an honoring of all that is given as useful, unique and sacred. This is a good way of living on the planet.
I captured these images (slideshow will load below) in my yard and woods. Not planted and unplanned, these living wonders are gifts given by nature. Beautiful and appreciated beyond measure. Certainly not “weeds”.
“This is the most beautiful place on earth.
There are many such places. Every man, every woman, carries in heart and mind the image of the ideal place, the right place, the one true home, known or unknown, actual or visionary.”
This is the most beautiful place on earth. These words by Edward Abbey come to mind this morning, this perfect morning, at home. “There are many such places”. And there are. I have been away from home for ten days and have seen many of these most beautiful places – Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park, Craters of the Moon, The Nez Perce Trail, Capital Reef… Landscapes so varied and divine as to be overwhelming. Wondrous.
But no less wondrous are the home woods… deep forests and tall trees, raven conversations, deer family visits, chipmunks, dandelions, luxuriant green carpets, stone song, bees buzzing, one perfect sky-blue butterfly, tiny wild violets, the sunlight on the new maple leaves…
Yes, there are wonders everywhere. Beauty. Connection. Spirit.
Home holds me. The most beautiful place on earth.