Sleeping In The Forest by Mary Oliver
I thought the earth remembered me, she
took me back so tenderly, arranging
her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds. I slept
as never before, a stone
on the riverbed, nothing
between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated
light as moths among the branches
of the perfect trees. All night
I heard the small kingdoms breathing
around me, the insects, and the birds
who do their work in the darkness. All night
I rose and fell, as if in water, grappling
with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.
We as a group of artist mothers from all over the world are making it our priority to turn off the tv/video games so that we can give our children the sacred experience to connect with the fast disappearing natural world. We will freelens our adventures into the wild and share them through this monthly project.
Long ago, 1860 to be exact, William Davis and Fannie Duncan settled on this plot of land in Sombra Township, Canada, a marshland the very first European explorers deemed to be uninhabitable because of the mosquitoes. They cleared one acre of standing trees per year, and eventually, thanks to Dutch engineering, vast drainage ditches were dug and field tile laid to drain the water from this soil so that crops could flourish. The field of winter wheat we walk on to get to the last of the standing trees on the back side of those cleared fields, is still drained now. Every 15 feet, running north/south, are drainage tiles. From the back of the field to the deep ditches at the other end. The woodlot itself though is still marshy and teeming with mosquitoes, snakes and ticks, so we rarely get anywhere near it in the summer months, but in the fall and winter we walk the old logging trails, using a scythe to keep a few feet of old logging trails cleared enough for us to pass through. It is never ending, this European sensibility which is so deeply ingrained, that thinks we need to exert our humanity over nature and tame it into submission. The trees and flowers and butterflies and foxes watch us patiently and know that eventually we will figure it out.
Up next in the circle is Joni Burtt