It is peaceful this morning on Halcyon Pond. I am alone. Completely alone. I sit in the garden listening to the bird calls; the chirping and lilting of the song birds riding over the continuo of the plaintive call of the mourning doves. I am reminded of the days when I thought they were called morning doves because they sang to each other at daybreak. And that Electra looked especially lovely in the early sun’s rays in the play “Mourning Becomes Electra”. It was only later in life that I learned they were both “mourning”, and sadness infused my view.
I sit in the garden, trying to see the beauty, trying to force my eye from the glorious peony to the graceful polygonatum, now fully unfurled, draped with blossoms. But instead my eye lingers on the devastated hostas. And I worry over the yet uneaten day lilies and eucomis and stokesia, knowing how vulnerable they are and how little I can do to protect them.
Last evening as I sat enjoying the tranquility of the day’s end, feeling the gentle breeze wafting in the window, I heard munching. Jumping up, I saw through the window the Madonna and child wandering through the hosta bed, snacking on the few leaves they had missed before. The faun that had nearly drowned, now healthy, meandered joyfully by its mother’s side. I was reminded of how foolhardy it is to romanticize nature and anthropomorphize its creatures. The faun may have gone back and told stories of the good fairy in the woods or of the fearsome waters in which it almost drowned. But that did not keep it from returning itself to feast. I am chastened. [Equivocal]
I would do no differently, though, if I found the faun drowning today. I would still save it. But maybe it would be with a wiser heart, one that hears the mournful lilt of the dove’s call. And one that knows that all of us, including Electra, are part of this circle of life and will mourn. And be mourned.
But then I wonder if “mourning” and “morning” are not so far apart. To wonder if when mourning, are we also at the point of awakening? Is it in death that we understand life; in darkness, the light? Can we mourn, confident that there will be a morning after? Can we be fully in the dark moments in life, knowing that light will dawn and illuminate our souls again?
Absolutely true, that mourning is followed by morning. Darkness does not last forever. “Weeping may last the night, but joy comes in the morning”
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Yes, Jeff, thankfully!
As always, thoughtfully thought and beautifully written. Also, I thought it was Morning Dove! I stand corrected. Thank you.
One more comment: there is a sword called a Mourning Sword ( worn in the past after the death of a loved one) . Often mistakenly referred to as a Morning Sword !
Interesting, Ed. I wonder if the morning/mourning confusion is used intentionally in naming some things?
An inspiring connection and such beautiful photos. May need to look up the roots of the words but certainly the similar sounds makes for some confusion and often hope over sadness. Good Morning from the UK!
Good morning! And thank you for your comment and your beautiful blog! I was piqued with myself for not having thought to explore the etymology of the two words. And so, even before having my coffee, I have done so. They are from very different roots. So interesting that they came from such different places.
We can’t do everything and must now go for a walk!
this is so beautiful 🙂
Thank you so much, Joshi.
To wonder, to awaken, to live, to pass along to another sphere after mourning and traveling along this pathway. And maybe to show up in the morning after a night of being with the mourning, and singing aloud or in your spirit, the words of Paul Simon that seem to speak to the mourning, the darkness, the light and to me, awakening:
Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Within the sound of silence
In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
‘Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turn my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence
And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never shared
No one dared
Disturb the sound of silence
“Fools,” said I, “you do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you”
But my words like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence
And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls
And whispered in the sound of silence
Thank you for sharing your wonderful lens that peers behind the curtain of what we call life. 🙂
Thank you, Greg. And thanks for quoting Paul Simon. He’s brilliant!
I loved this post but wonder “are we ever alone”? With all the life on your pond, I suspect that you are not.
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Very good point, Susan. I rarely feel alone here, even when there are no humans around. The lizards and frogs are quite good conversationalists, and they think I’m brilliant. 🙂
I love your style of blogging. And your contemplations are wise. Thank you for sharing it with the world.
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Thank you so much, Brian. I appreciate you taking the time to read several posts.