If you go off into a far, far forest and get very quiet,
you’ll come to understand that you’re connected to everything.
This is true. However, it need not be a far, far forest. It can be near. In fact, it can be your backyard.
It reminds me of the joke where the Dalai Lama goes to a hot dog street vendor and says, “Make me one with everything.”
This photo was manipulated to resolve trouble with the output of the old 35mm film camera that shot this about 17 years ago, in not enough light as the sun was slipping away from the woods, but it is still true to the original, with perhaps an artsy touch.
I have always called it, “Reincarnation of a Birch,” but this fungus decoration is only one phase of the new world that will be created from this old gray birch stump.
It was in the campground at Taylor Pond, part of the Taylor Pond Wild Forest state land complex, which includes Taylor Pond Wild Forest, Terry Mountain State Forest, Burnt Hill State Forest and the Franklin Falls, Shell Rock and Black Brook Conservation Easement Tracts, a handful of my nearby nature immersion areas within 20 miles of Balsamea.
I have not done the usual due diligence to confirm Alan Watts as the source of the above quote, because I got the quote from a professional naturalist who can be trusted for researching things in depth: New Hampshire Garden Solutions (NHGS); Exploring Nature in New Hampshire. Read one post there, and you’ll see that it is not just pretty pictures and plant identification. It is an exploration of the nature of things and our relationships with them.
The “garden” in this case, is the gift of the garden of nature all around us. The biome in my area is similar to New Hampshire, so things I see and learn in NHGS are of special interest to me.
The author writes:
This blog started as a place where local people could come to have their gardening questions answered. Unfortunately nobody asked any questions, so while I waited I began writing about gardening and nature. From there it has evolved into a nature blog because that is what visitors were most interested in.
I hope by visiting that you will see what amazing beauty nature holds and that you will become more interested in exploring your own area. You don’t have to fly or drive anywhere to see the beauty of nature-it’s all right there in your own yard!
That comes from one with a heart for nature, connected with nature more fully than most people.
I write this post because I was so impressed with their July 2 post, On A Class 6 Road, I had to share it. Please stroll through and enjoy it. I loved it too much to just leave it there! It reminds me of many wanderings I do, sitting with, observing, contemplating nature as a friend who had waited to show me what’s been going on there.
The NHGS website is illustrated wonderfully with countless professional-class photos of plants and sometimes other things, like old roads, caves, bridges, rocks, and scenery.
The blog is not only about plants and nature, but also about historical, cultural, and even philosophical currents flowing through our relationships with nature. The writing is light-hearted, conversational, and friendly. NHGS is an education, an inspiration, and a visual and literary delight.
I have been away from it for a while, and regret it. I’m back. See you there!
I wrote about NHGS a long time ago, too, in Nature Writers I Follow #2: New Hampshire Garden Solutions (NHGS).
It is very important to go out alone, to sit under a tree—not with a book, not with a companion, but by yourself—and observe the falling of a leaf, hear the lapping of the water, the fishermen’s song, watch the flight of a bird, and of your own thoughts as they chase each other across the space of your mind. If you are able to be alone and watch these things, then you will discover extraordinary riches which no government can tax, no human agency can corrupt, and which can never be destroyed. ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti
“… riches which no government can tax,
no human agency can corrupt …”
No matter what befalls this broken nation,
we have these riches to keep,
and, the more we cherish them,
the better the nation will fare.