It has been a busy, though relaxing few days and now today I come back to contemplation of what this day means and how it was gained. It began in 1882 as a celebration of unions and gains for the workers. Hmmmm!
My neighbor is away so I went over early this morning to care for her plants. I was there on Thursday at the same time of day and everything was flourishing and bright in the light, but today all looked sad even though the sun is shining and I realized plants miss us when we are gone. They are used to peeking in the windows but all is drawn up tight at their house right now and there are no open windows and the family and dog are gone. We are connected in so many ways and sometimes I forget. I came home and watered and talked to all my plant friends after comforting my neighbor plants. I miss my plants when I'm gone. I realize they miss me too.
Happy connecting with yourself today and honoring the connections that surround.
I'm not sure young people today know what a compass is, a tool we used to make circles, but I loved this image when I was introduced to this poem by John Donne when I was in high school. I can envision a compass and the connection of two as one.
A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning
As virtuous men pass mildly away,
And whisper to their souls, to go,
Whilst some of their sad friends do say,
'The breath goes now,' and some say, 'No:'
So let us melt, and make no noise,
No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move;
'Twere profanation of our joys
To tell the laity our love.
Moving of th' earth brings harms and fears;
Men reckon what it did, and meant;
But trepidation of the spheres,
Though greater far, is innocent.
Dull sublunary lovers' love
(Whose soul is sense) cannot admit
Absence, because it doth remove
Those things which elemented it.
But we by a love so much refin'd,
That ourselves know not what it is,
Inter-assured of the mind,
Care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss.
Our two souls therefore, which are one,
Though I must go, endure not yet
A breach, but an expansion,
Like gold to airy thinness beat.
If they be two, they are two so
As stiff twin compasses are two;
Thy soul, the fix'd foot, makes no show
To move, but doth, if the' other do.
And though it in the centre sit,
Yet when the other far doth roam,
It leans, and hearkens after it,
And grows erect, as that comes home.
Such wilt thou be to me, who must
Like th' other foot, obliquely run;
Thy firmness makes my circle just,
And makes me end, where I begun.
I have been reading Laura Bell's memoir, Claiming Ground, about her time herding sheep in Wyoming and learning, being, adapting, doing.
At one point, she suffers a relationship setback, is left suddenly by someone with whom she thought she shared an evolving, stable relationship. Laura Bell writes this:
Pema Chodrun (in When Things Fall Apart) says that things falling apart is both a testing and a healing. We think the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth, she says, is that things don't really get solved once and for all. Time after time, things come together and they fall apart again, like breathing.
I remember riding through the Gravel Creek drainage eight years after the Yellowstone fires of 1988 on a ten-day pack trip that led from a trailhead west of Cody, into the Park and out the south side, toward Jackson Hole. The fires had raged in this drainage, drilling a fierce heat down into the soil that sterilized it of all life. Riding through stinging rains, we found ourselves in a world falling apart. With no vegetation to hold the soil, cliffs had slumped into creek bottoms and water had cut raw channels through the hillsides, leaving only cobble. Even then I knew that wind-blown wisps of soil would someday catch among the gravel, that live seed would be dropped from passing birds, that in my lifetime this chaos would grow back into wild-knit life. But who among us can bear to see it go without a tear?
Antonio Machado :
“Caminante, no hay camino. Se hace camino al andar.”
“Traveler, there is no path. We create the path with each step we take.”