Listening in the forest – week 2

“We can make our minds so like still water that beings gather about us to see their own images and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even a fiercer life because of our silence.” William Butler Yeats

Listening – week 2
It is said that this is the ancient shore of Lake Ontario, and the moss covered boulders on this escarpment seem to bear the marks of a water-worn story.

The trees, rooted in between the tumbled boulders stand at amazing height. Straight. Strong. Contrasted with the craggy bank, they seem to dissolve into the misty air. Their strength supports their fallen counterparts that have landed against them until, further weakened by decay, they will fall and join the ground cover, home to emerald green moss.

Layers of decay and growth support each other.

This strip of forest is narrow, an angular climb between the subdivision and our farm. I imagine that the only reason it remains is that it was impenetrable to development.

Today in its silence it tells me a story. ‘Once upon a time, our great grandparents were seedlings, sprouting in this ancient sea soaked soil. Our growth is infinitely slow and steady and we accept the layers of death and decay that have nurtured us as we will one day nurture others in their growth. By grace we have survived the human industrial invasion and provide sanctuary for all who linger here. You are welcome to take shelter.”

The wisdom of the forest leaves me with a sense of wonder. How do layers of decay and growth support each other in my life? Do I accept the slow and steady pace of growth?

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