“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”
― W.B. Yeats
“The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.” — Henry Miller
Thanksgiving is only two days away. The bird feeders are hung and so far no bears have disturbed them (I can’t say the same for the grey squirrels). The garden seems to be dying but we know from experience (and reading, and more reading) that it is actually renewing and replenishing itself. The soil dreams, cocoons are dozey, tree roots lie dormant in readiness. We humans also are entering a time of restoration in our illuminated darkness.
I find much in the natural world — a world most of us partially inhabit (and in the end, fully) — for which to give thanks.
“If the only prayer you say in your life is thank you, that would suffice.” — Meister Eckhart
(Click on any picture to enlarge.)
I give thanks, in no particular order, for:
* The birds that come to the feeders, and the black-capped chickadees in particular which seem to have the least fear among the birds; they often come towards me when I go out with more seed.
* And all the other birds. Everywhere. Can you imagine a world without them?
* The simple yet utterly intricate miracle of the seasons, of life cycles. The ongoing everywhere pattern of alternating activity and rest, awake and sleep, plant and harvest, hunger and satiation, participate and observe, do and be. It’s energising, humbling, and reassuring to realise my miniscule and fleeting part in the circle of life.
* My permaculture gardening group of friends, who meet for two hours once a week most of the year to share delectable food, insights, camaraderie, support, skills, a range of perspectives, extra plants and seeds, laughter, and did I mention the food?
* The bees, spiders, butterflies, dragonflies, and other “beneficial” insects that are my garden allies, pollinating, protecting, keeping balanced the vital tension among natural elements.
* The animals seen on the motion camera at night. They are part of a nocturnal world to which I am a happy voyeur and admirer.
* Public gardens, arboretums, preserves, nature parks, rail trails, which give me a chance to stroll or hike, enjoy and wonder at plants and animals, and learn more about them, surrounded by beauty.
* Strangers who offer their expertise to help others identify bugs, butterflies, fungi, plants and to provide garden advice and information. (Please add your favourite online ID resource in the comments if you like.)
* Vegetable and herb crops that grow to maturity from seed in our short northern New England season. And the seed companies that provide the truest products for our area, like Fedco, Johnnys, and Botanical Interests. And groups of friends with whom to place discounted group orders!
* Frogs, turtles, alligators, newts, geckos, snakes, and other amphibians and reptiles, which are secretive, quick, gorgeously primitive, evocative of time primeval.
* The beach, the ocean, dunes, sand, surf, salt air, seawater. And the marsh. So beloved.
* The damage done — to plants, animals, myself, other humans — because it reminds me that there are costs to living, which no one escapes paying, and this awareness opens my heart and enlarges my empathy for all beings.
* That there is always something to discover and explore, whether it’s been there all along or not.
“There will always be something new to discover: a minute moss never found before, a rabbit eating birdseed with the birds on a hungry November day, a bittern that stays only long enough to be remembered.” (Ann Zwinger, Beyond the Aspen Grove)
“For love to continue and be gradually different. / Beehives and ants have to be re-examined eternally” (John Ashbery in “Late Echo”)
* My ability to walk, to bend, to crouch, to shovel, to dig a hole the size of a boulder (and to remove said boulder from the hole), to lug mulch around the yard, to spend 6 hours working in the garden with no lasting pain.
* My eyesight, hearing, sense of touch and smell. There is so much to experience in colour, texture, visual pattern, softness and sharpness, scent, odor, birdsong, wind-sounds, squirrel chatter.
* The unending allure and enchantment of the earth.
“‘Dear old world’, she murmured, ‘you are very lovely, and I am glad to be alive in you.'” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” — Albert Einstein
“The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth, dwelling deeply in the present moment and feeling truly alive.” ― Thích Nhất Hạnh