Tuesday, August 20, 2013


On a lark I took a trip to the Maine Botanical Gardens and upon arriving immediately became a member.  Most of the day was spent walking, admiring, and making mental notes of species I would like to include in my personal gardens at home.

I wandered through theme gardens, woodlands spaces, ventured along paths lined twisted evergreens, wild blueberries and a plethora of ferns.  A crow's rant was the only sound that split the quiet; it's message: 'there's a human afoot.' 

Making my way downhill I discovered a path, beyond the manicured lawns and pampered roses, that meandered over a small stone bridge and down through a conifer forest.  A ribbon of water appeared and disappeared from view through the trees. After a few minutes I came to the end of this particular path and stood on the shore of the Back River which is a tidal channel approx 5 miles long.  My understanding is that this river connects with the Sheepscot River which travels along the west side of Barter's Island

Standing and gazing across the multi-faceted waves of sparkling light, I was aware of a lone seagull bobbing along the shoreline edge looking for a meal.  We were both enjoying the quiet.  The air was fresh and light, mixed with the fragrances of pine and sea water, a perfect scene and a delightful scent, at least to me.

Up to my left I noticed a clearing surrounded by cathedral pines. Large rocks, along with places to sit and a few standing stones were visible; something rested in the center like a boulder.  Curious I made my way up the gentle slope and realized upon arriving that the centerpiece was in fact a huge partially polished stone basin filled with water; its mirrored surface silently reflected images from the forest canopy; the space spread over different levels of meditative nooks nestled into the sloping landscape.  I felt invited to sit undisturbed.

The urge to remove my sandals upon entering the space was irresistible and I made my way quietly to one of the benches, sat, rested my hands in my lap and I closed my eyes.  Without any prompting my inner senses opened allowing the energy of the space to fill me. The atmosphere evoked surrender; the familiar 'opening of self' as one does in the presence of the Old Ones rested inside me.  Time passed; how much time didn't matter.   

Eventually I opened my eyes.  The feeling of reverence was palpable. I slowly stood and approached the basin. Looking across the surface of the water I allowed my gaze to penetrate the surface and rest on the bottom.  I imagined what it might feel like in another time or perhaps another place, to rest within the basin in the dead of night like this one, alone and naked, with only the pinprick of starlight reflected in the water around me, a warm summer breeze moving through the clearing, the river lapping a the shore below.  

Dipping my fingers into the tranquil pool I instinctively anointed my brow, my lips and heart.  The sensation I received was timeless.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Harvest Moon

The flame-red moon, the harvest moon,
Rolls along the hills, gently bouncing,
A vast balloon,
Till it takes off, and sinks upward
To lie on the bottom of the sky, like a gold doubloon.
The harvest moon has come,
Booming softly through heaven, like a bassoon.
And the earth replies all night, like a deep drum.

So people can't sleep,
So they go out where elms and oak trees keep
A kneeling vigil, in a religious hush.
The harvest moon has come!

And all the moonlit cows and all the sheep
Stare up at her petrified, while she swells
Filling heaven, as if red hot, and sailing
Closer and closer like the end of the world.

Till the gold fields of stiff wheat
Cry `We are ripe, reap us!' and the rivers
Sweat from the melting hills. 

Edward James "Ted" Hughes, OM (17 August 1930 – 28 October 1998) was an English poet and children's writer. Critics routinely rank him as one of the best poets of his generation. Hughes was British Poet Laureate from 1984 until his death.

Painting: Samuel Palmer (27 January 1805 – 24 May 1881) was a British landscape painter, etcher and printmaker. He was also a prolific writer. Palmer was a key figure in Romanticism in Britain and produced visionary pastoral paintings.