I grew up in the neighborhood, walked the roads and explored the woods for over thirty years, and I had never seen this path through the woods. Behind my parent’s house, there is a conservation area, a Red Maple Spice Bush swamp.
Spice Bush flowers in early spring
Down the road is a Bridle Trail. I have walked it many times. Low Bush blueberries and black raspberries, grew on the hills where my brothers and I had roamed. In the winter, the frozen ground made it easier to cut across the marshes. Since my youth, the farmlands and the wild places have been turned into suburban neighborhoods. The fields are almost gone, and parts of the swamp have been filled in.
The other evening, I walked the Bridle trail and found a path that I had never seen before. In spite of the fact that the sun was setting, my brother and I followed the winding path up a steep hill. To my surprise, there was a lovely view. The rocks were impressive, and the forest muffled the sound of road noise. It was delightful to find such a secluded spot in a place that is so active with people, their houses, vehicles, and lawn tractors. I had walked past the opening to that path many times but never thought to explore.
Standing on the rocks overlooking the trees and a steep drop, reminded me that Earth-time is extensive. The rocks are millions of years older than I am. They have been privy to the experience of the rumblings and heat in the depth of the earth. They have enjoyed this view much longer than I have, and they will continue to do so when I am gone.
Making my way down the path in the growing darkness, I marveled at the ferns, wildflowers, and trees. It was a brief respite from modern life, and being surrounded by biological deserts of grass.
I prefer to experience Deep Time…
and every once in a while to go…
…where I do not have to know.
We no longer hear the voices of the rivers or the mountains, or the voices of the sea. The trees and meadows are no longer intimate modes of spirit presence. Everything about us has become an “it” rather than a “thou.” – Thomas Berry