A beautiful word.

A terrifying concept.

Early spring gardening at Halcyon Pond. The smell of earth; worms awakening. Plants push their noses upward through the surface, yearning for sun. Each year I am stunned by the magic: the transformation of dirt into plants of myriad forms and colors.

I am reminded of how enduring and ephemeral life is. The individual is ephemeral, no matter how beautiful or magnificent. Its moment on earth is brief. From the cherry blossom, exquisite for just one day, to the Ancient Oak, who has seen many of us come and go, each individual is here for its allotted time. But Life transcends the individual.

The Ancient Oak is itself an emblem of this cycle of life and death. Fallen leaves blanket its feet, nourishing its roots. In summer the oak is enshrouded in darkness, shaded by its leaves. It is only in winter, when it the oak is bare and seemingly dead, that it is bathed in light, and its magnificent and ancient trunk can be seen.

I am aware that “moving in” time is approaching. I’m checking out the neighborhood, getting to know the worms, my soon-to-be neighbors. I inhale deeply, relish the rich, deep scent of earth. I sink into the mystery of life arising from the dust of all that has passed. And I think, maybe it isn’t so bad…

2013-10 Sacred Oak 1824

2013-10 Sacred Oak 1812


Add yours →

  1. Better and better. Every one is better than the last.


  2. The Druids worshipped the ancient oaks. When the Romans invaded Britain, they cut down the sacred grove in an effort to break the power and spirit of the native people. This spirit can never be broken in the hearts of believers.


  3. It makes me ponder…..which sort of plant could I be?! I must strive to exhibit the noble characteristics of each. The enthusiasm and fearlessness of the crocus, the generosity of the fig, the exuberance of the zinnia, the quiet and selfless resolve of the Lithops…………that is the classroom, sanctuary, of the garden. A gathering of admirable souls!


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