From Sister Joan D. Chittister, O.S.B.:
Joan D. Chittister
It’s what we have when we have nothing that defines our relation to nature and the effect of nature on the soul. Then we begin to realize that we do not exist outside of nature or above nature or independent of nature; we are simply its most vulnerable part. What we learn from nature may make the whole difference in the way we go through life, and what we want from it, and what we consider important in it, and—most of all—what we are capable of learning by being alive. —from Becoming Fully Human by Joan Chittister (Sheed & Ward)
(Click pics for full-screen views.) Views looking up under American Beech trees, abundant at Balsamea, fascinating in every season. See my post, The Junk Tree (Fagus grandifolia) for many more home-made pictures and discussion. Some foolish person called it a junk tree, not me. I’m not THAT foolish.
“What we learn from nature may make the whole difference in
… what we are capable of learning by being alive.” –JDC
The Balsamean Forest Immersion, May 12, 2018
Actual photo of actual man in actual forest. Image spans a space about sixty feet wide, or about four car lengths. CLICK TO ENLARGE OR DOWNLOAD ORIGINAL 3510×2500 px IMAGE in separate window. Copyright © 2018 The Balsamean; permission granted to use for non-commercial purposes.
It’s about perspective on the nature of things.
This photo post will be repeated each season, if I’m still here. This one is spring, when the maple buds have just started opening (the tall skinny trees in foreground center).
“All that we are and will and do depends, in the last analysis, upon what we believe
the Nature of Things to be.” –Aldous Huxley, The Perennial Philosophy
Over the past two weeks, Buddy the Bio-psycho-social Therapeutic Friend with Four Paw Drive, took to moseying — FOUR TIMES — out toward the distant neighbor northwest of us. (We’re surrounded by woods, with open space over about half the distance to that neighbor.)
“Don’t give me that crap about looking like my human companion.”
Apparently they have the grand-kids staying a spell and one of them is an irresistibly (to Buddy) screamy girl (maybe it’s a boy, but I wouldn’t bet on it) playing in their pool, which sits very close to the wall of their house that faces our Balsamea, echoing her voice more toward us than in any other direction, sometimes helped by the west wind and humidity.
Measuring in a straight line, their house is about 350 yards away, on the other side of the road. That is highly unacceptable moseying, definitely off the reservation. Buddy does not have a license to operate on blacktop or to rescue screaming girls that far away.
“I will wait for you.”
I can only imagine the wonders that Buddy enjoys in the woods of Balsamea every day and night, with his great capacity for scent, hearing, and night vision.
When he stops in the trail to investigate something, I wait. It’s the least I can do for all the times he waits while I do things in my never-ending pursuit of amateur silviculture, naturalism, and trail tending. Come to think of it, he spends most of his time waiting for me.
There never has been and never will be a friend so patient, so tolerant, so forgiving, so playful, and so nice to pet. A good dog is medicine for mind and body. Cats, too. But you can’t take cats for a hike, and they’re generally not so big on tug-of-war and keep-away with a stick, in all seasons and all weather.