Wednesday, March 02, 2011
AN EVENING’S TASK
From out of a sunny day it started snowing late this afternoon, and up here when it snows like this you anyway want to go walking where you can feel the deeps of calm at the heart of the snowy forest, the calm we are born from, that you hold in your open hands.
The snow whispers itself to itself upon the ground, upon the trees; the way is now untraveled, the snow unstepped as I walk up through the white that is featherfalling everywhere; along the narrow road through the snow-covered oaks, the smaller trees lean over the road in a tunnel to whiteness; here and there along the way the roadside cedars block the fall with their own tall feathers, leaving patches of dark road as though the way beneath the snow were a river of black ice leading into white forest --
Along the higher and narrower path, whole groves of tall, thin bamboo arch over beneath the curving weight of snow, whole groves of pale eyebrows where once stood dense stands of green flags in the wind-- above them now rise empty trees frosted with snow, reaching like their own ghosts into a sunless sky the silver color of themselves and the silence...
I leave the narrowing road and turn upon the rough path upward along the noisy snow-fed stream galloping down through the trees and at the source of our water I step into the pushing cascade in my high boots, begin to clean away the debris of a week from the mountain above and the water rises in our channel-- where there are folks, there are rules, and after a few moments in that wild splash through the heart of the silence my turn at the task is finished.
I emerge from the path onto the road with only my coming footsteps in the snow and stand there looking around me, listening, letting it all soak in: the sky, the trees, the stream, the snow, the road, the breath, the passing of time, the stillness, like water being, like forest seeing, trees reaching, all yet to come alive from the silence when spring brings back all the voices...