W & W 21: Balance and Harmony

I last wrote a post about a month ago. It was a sad post about the clear-cutting of a section of the North Country Trail that I had adopted to help maintain. It took me awhile to go back and Walk & Write again and I purposely chose to revisit this area. I have good news to share!

The work to restore the NCT pathway has begun. Volunteers rerouted the trail around most of the clear-cut so that travelling there now went from a third of a mile to one-tenth of a mile. They also removed lots of branches and laid down some branches to designate the pathway. Good work fellas!!

It will take years for this aspen grove to reforest, but it will happen. Recently, I went to a public open house at our local Department of Natural Resources office to offer my “two cents worth” about what happened. They were very respectful and did admit that a mistake was made to clear-cut directly across the NCT. A friend accompanied me and pointed out that springtime is not a good time to clear-cut a forest as many birds are nesting and animals are waiting to give birth. Hopefully, safeguards are now in place to prevent this travesty from happening again and consideration will be given to the safest time to cut the trees.

Now, on to happier subjects — life in the forest . . . Meadow wildflowers are now in bloom along with the blackberry bushes. Butterflies are flittering and the birds are active.

I paused to sit and rest my back against a tree after crossing the clear-cut to practice my Write. My senses took in all of the vibrant life I had just passed through and those I witnessed at my feet. Lots of bugs scurried by, the earth smelled like soul candy, the elder aspen played a soft symphony, and bracken fern shadows rested silently on the path in peace.

Amongst the green of the forest and the liveliness of the birds and beasts, I took a couple of photos that inspired some writing. First, there was this happy bullfrog looking up at me who inspired this haiku:

When in deep water
see if you can force a smile
at least you’ll look cute.

And then, I came upon a “page” of white birch bark lying on the ground. It was covered in woodpecker holes. There was much to see this day — the blueness of the lake, the emerald green leaves looking hopeful alongside the clear-cut, wildflowers galore; but somehow this next photo spoke to me most. Perhaps its simplicity made it come to life in my poem.

Bird Braille

Bird Braille
Sometimes we are blind
blind to the now of being
being fully within nature
nature and her bounty
bounty laid out before us
us and all creatures present
present like young oak leaves
leaves of spiraled ferns
ferns of bracken and maidenhair
maidenhair soft and tender
tender buds of water iris
iris blue like pool eyes
eyes that see without seeing
seeing by listening intently
intently like a woodpecker hears
hears a bug within a tree
tree with white paper bark
bark now riddled with bullets
bullets of sharp beak holes
holes creating bird braille
braille, perhaps the answer
answer to seeing, really seeing,
seeing because sometimes
sometimes we are blind.

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