Today, in walking with a friend, I saw two mountain lions. It appeared they were mother and child. The child was still huge but blended in with its spots, and the mother was golden-brown like a log and then, we saw the ears. We stayed and watched them both for a long time. They were resting and also watching us. What a thrill!
Twice before I have seen a mountain lion. Both times I was alone and up in the hills. Once was in the early morning and once was as the sun was setting. The first time we both were startled. It flew in front of me, over the path. The second time I looked up and realized we were both out for the sunset. It was February and we were out enjoying the setting sun together. I felt peaceful, safe.
Now, today, there were people around. The dryness has brought animals down to the stream, and yet people walked by talking, not pausing to ask what we might be looking at and if we had not caught some initial movement, we would not have seen them either. They blended in perfectly. At first, the mother moved away from the child to draw our eye away and then, she settled in, so we watched first one and then, the other. The baby/child had been told to stay still and she/he did until he/she could not help looking around.
I am reading a wonderful book, Nature and the Human Soul, by Bill Plotkin. He writes of how children must be out in nature, to know, discover, and explore their own nature. The fog was so tightly wound in today, that the greens, golds, and browns were soft and subtle, beautiful openings for the eyes. No computer can create that kind of color, blending and contrast. My brain was stroked.
I had a tree I loved when I was young. I would stand in it, embraced, held.
Joanna Macy writes of a tree, a maple in her grandparent's yard. When she was high in the maple, she "entered a solitude that was more than my own. It was a protected solitude.... Here one single, living being was holding me."
Reading that, I was reminded of my childhood bed and dresser. My mother said it was made from a cherry tree from her grandfather's yard. It was huge and I felt embraced in that bed, knew my clothes were safe in that dresser, held, cherished. We left it in Florida. My parents felt it was too big and heavy to move, that it didn't fit into smaller, modern homes, and yet, I still feel the embrace of that wood.
Joanna Macy on her tree:
I only went there alone. It was a place to be quiet, a place to disappear into a kind of shared presence, the being that was tree and me, with the light coming through. The light is what I remember most of all; high and wide and around me, it shaped a luminous, breathing bowl. It danced through the leaves, glowing them green and gold. It stroked the limbs with flickering shadows. When I sat very quiet, the play of light seemed to go right through my body, and my breath was part of the maple's murmuring .... She let me glimpse a wild serenity at the heart of my world."
May we all have a flower, tree, bird, or stream, in real life now or in memory that allows us to "glimpse a wild serenity" at the heart of our world. May we each know peace.