Saturday, June 30, 2007

June 2007

I have a knack for finding secret places. Like this morning when I convinced my husband to trek out with me on my walk. There was an opening, well, a space really, where the wild roses were not so tight. An invitation.

We had to step high, like fancy horses, to avoid the prickers that reached in front and in back of our legs, “tread softly,” they seemed to say, “slow down, this is worth the effort.” Somewhere, I could hear on the other side of the brush, the pull of water. I was not disappointed. The shale was black and wide and stepped like a staircase. I don’t know who was happier, the water or the shale for making an ocean out of a 4 foot wide bend of stream that I had never seen before. And the tree roots, wider than both of your hands, form large quiet trees begging us to follow their winding and dipping curves. Sheer curiosity moved us along and suddenly, there it was . . . an old weathered rope swing. Someone, perhaps someone like you, had shimmied to the top of the tree and wedged a knot of rope in the little crook where the tree could not decide which way it wanted to grow. Or maybe the tree knew that crooks make wonderful playgrounds and planned it that way. Your guess is as good as mine.

Me first! I swung out curling my legs above the clear water. I was 12 again with my best friend in Maine where we took deep breaths before swinging wildly into the air, doing our best to hold hands, and dropping into the cool black lake, then the flapping, flapping, flapping until we reached the surface and breathed again. I swung back with a smile. Rob next; I didn’t ask where he went, but he looked 10 to me swinging over a fishing hole he never had.

I have a knack for finding secret places.

Crooks of hollow trees where messages were undoubtedly sent from one captive to another; a fairy tree where the keeper of the forest surely resides; the leaf of the nasturtium after a rain, and have you ever seen the center of a Shasta daisy – it has its very own yellow brick road. The universe waits for us in these places.

I just read a poem by Naomi Shihab Nye about a man who gave his Love two skunks for a valentine. She cried. But he had seen such beauty in the skunk’s eyes. My favorite line goes like this,

And the poems that had been hiding

in the eyes of skunks for centuries

crawled out and curled up at his feet.”

Keep your eyes open, you never know what’s in there.

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