I had an experience yesterday, which I’d like to share.
I went walking with Gabrielle, my daughter, along with her dog. This dog, which is really rather adorable, does have all the character of a working animal; it’s got extraordinary strength — pulling power. And that’s what it loves to do. To pull. I will have to figure out a way to harness some aspect of that churn, he’s got. But that’s beside the point, really. Gabrielle pointed out a kind of overhanging dwelling of spirits, as we were walking in Discovery Park, a special kind of place, like a glade — a hidden glen, tucked away underneath the hillock, lit from the western Sun, heading into the afternoon.
Gabrielle and I, along with the pulling dog, made our way into the cloaked forest — and meanwhile, off there in the hillside, a pileated woodpecker knocked his head into the wood — looking for something. And we stood there, with the dog, pulling away — trying to scramble off somewhere. Why he’d felt the urge to run up the hill, who knows. But I held him fast.
And Gabrielle and I stood there, as a beam appeared, from the roof of the forest — sparkling and wavering orbs of light, winking and blurring — in the winds that reached the tops of the trees, coming in off the Sound, the sea beyond…And as we stood there, the beauty of the lightshafts deepened, as thousands of motes and migrant flecks of light, appeared and drifted through these lantern strokes, glowing on the forest floor. And there was more, whirring and falling maple wings of oranges, red light lines of ladybeetles — trailing, whizzing winged sorties, other things — rising and falling. In all, a kind of constellation of life, all contained in the beam, a whirling miniature universe, waving in time — that same fluent movement of the world beneath the sea, plankton — a tide of stars. And there we were, transfixed — meanwhile the dog pulling away, to some unknown magnet — watching the momentum of this little galaxy of light, wafting in nebular clouds of life. And dust. And more life, again…All beauty, in the emotion of the instant.
What grace, to have shared that with her. And the dog.
And now, with you.