Two whistles, one for each, and familiar sounds draw close in darkness— cadence of hoof on hardened bottomland, twinned blowing of air through nostrils curious, flared. They come deepened and muscular movements conjured out of sleep: each small noise and scent heavy with earth, simple beyond communion…
…and in the night, their mares’ eyes shine, reflecting stars, the entire, outer light of the world here. ~Jane Hirschfield from “After Work”
It’s tempting to fall into this fathomless well –
Their eyes are what I see first,
This retinal magnet drawing my own into
Such incalculable depths.
Yet I’m merely reflected like starlight;
Only dancing on a mirrored surface
When I long to dive in deeper~
To be so lost I must be found.
“I alternate between thinking of the planet as home
– dear and familiar stone hearth and garden –
and as a hard land of exile in which we are all sojourners.”
~Annie Dillard from Teaching a Stone To Talk
I find it very difficult to admit I am as temporary as a dew drop on a leaf, a mere mirrored reflection of this incredible place where I dwell. I want it to last, I want it etched in stone, I want to be remembered beyond the next generation, I want not to be lost to the ether.
Yet I, like everyone, am sojourner only, not settled and certainly not lasting. As a garden flourishes and then dies back, so will I. This is exile in the wilderness until I am led back home.