Words to Honor

Rolling Brown TreesIn the woods Saturday morning, I leaned my bike against a tree and let my eyes wander. Between any two trees there was another behind, and beside that another, and between them – still farther out – another and so on until the woods subdivided into a wall of gray and black, the shadows of the shadows of trees on a carpet of rolling brown. The distant thrum of civilization throbbed in the background, mechanical and repetitive but quick so it sounded like one droning note and I let that note fall away from my ears and listened deeper.

I followed my breath, in and out of my body, slowly. Purposefully. And the ringing in my ears -that cacophony of buzzing cars and phones and whirling activity that’s bad when it’s there but worse when it’s not and the silence that fills itself with the phantom quiverings of my brain – that ringing, rendered in distinct contrast by the silence of the woods, I willed silent.

I wish I could say I was completely successful, that by some stroke of magic, the right combination of sounds, some alliterative sleight of hand, I was able to silence the buzzing entirely but it has been with me too long, it’s roots go deep. But I was able, for brief snatches, to quell it enough and long enough that I think I heard the woods speak.

But in the woods Saturday morning, I thought of your words; those you spoke, those you wrote, and that feeling of aliveness they always gave me, that intensity of focus, that yearning. And I feel your words speaking to me, there in time and there in the woods, and their aliveness must be honored. I look forward to discovering in what manner I should best honor them, but honor them I will. Somehow.


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