I watched the ripple spread out, a circle moving away from the moment in every direction.
I can not change what happened.
Another drop struck the surface and the impact was breathtaking. The whole bowed beneath the one as an elastic crator absorbed the energy.
In a fluid moment heat was exchanged. Light.
A replica of the original, a perfect sphere, hung, momentarily, above the body, then joined the whole in perfect union as the whole rose and consumed the one. Ripples rushed out to herald the moment, which, now, was indistinguishable from other moments.
What ever sense of identity the one possessed, it was drowned in the act of coming together. The one was now whole.
Another drop. Another rush. Another ripple. Concentric circles colliding amidst moments of climax.
I can not see the end, the ripples. Their size grows and the moment of conception is lost among the waves.
As I drift beneath the surface I wonder if my moment of impact made a difference.
I lived in New England for two years. My first winter was spent in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, my second winter in Maine. Both winters were brutal. I was cold all the time. Nor’easters or down’easters were common. I survived the blizzard of ’78. One storm was so bad we couldn’t open our apartment door because the snow drifts were too high. We had to climb out the window and dig out the snow so we could open the door. Another time, we lost power for days because the ice storms had stripped the power lines and trees. The damage was horrific. But the world was sparklingly beautiful. It was during this time that I fell in love with the poetry of Robert Frost. His words evoke imagery and meaning with powerful poetic device which transcends place.
I no longer live in the east. Yet the seemingly simple home spun lessons of the New England poet stay with me. The words resonate in my western surroundings in spite of their New England sensibilities. Frost’s poetic imagery transcends time and place. The inspiration I found in the New England woods is also to be found in the Wasatch Mountains.
STOPPING BY WOODS ON A SNOWY EVENING
by Robert Frost (an extract)
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow…
…The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
by Robert Frost (an extract)
…He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, “Good fences make good neighbours”…
It takes a while for things to change.
Patience and faith, they say.
I can’t wait. I won’t, I say.
Deep time puts the age of Earth at four-and-one-half billion years.
I sense immense distance in Earth’s span, yet the years mean nothing in comprehending the patterns of death and life and death again which deposit layers of yesterdays upon tomorrows, until all that remains is this moment.
I stand in a place where the evidence of change surrounds me, yet actual change can not be seen.
Perhaps these rocks crumble to dirt,
for a million, maybe a billion years, for me to walk this path.
Red dirt sticks to my shoes and I carry it with me in defiance of the law of long waits.
I am here. Now.
The wind soughs and the rocks speak in whispers. I stand still and listen. The words do not bring me comfort. Change is as the rocks.
I look up at the sandstone sentinels and the sky stretches out before me.
I am small, insignificant, tenuous.
I look down and a silver stream glints below towering canyon walls. My heart skips a beat and I step back from the ledge. I have climbed much higher than I realize.
My breath catches as my son scales the cliffs below me. The rocks he climbs are hard broken. I call out not to walk those rocks, they may crumble. He has not yet reached the precipice on which I stand and must choose his path. I squint in harsh sunlight and see myself in his approaching shadow.
I feel old.
I see in him that I am old,
old in that my body is not what it once was;
not so old, in that the elements which make up my frame have not yet been scattered by hot winds relentlessly carving through stone.
My son will climb much higher than I have steps remaining. Yet, I still have steps remaining.
And the Gods said, “Let it be so.” And they watched those things which they had ordered until they obeyed. For even the Gods must watch and wait.
In the vast continuum of eternity, patience and faith take time.
So I am learning.
Wistfully, I lift a handful of dust and toss it to the sky. The wind accepts my offering.
My time has come. I have touched the rock of ages and must not linger.
In deep time,
the changes I hope for are carving the canyons of my soul.
Looking up at Hickman Bridge.
Red dirt gives way to azure skies.
Worn ragged by the forces of nature, this rock came to rest at the bottom of a cliff as a wrecked ship rests on the sea bottom.
Among the aging sandstone some forms of live thrive, others pass out of existence.
Towering sentinels of Capitol Reef.
Evidence indicates that in a flash flood, Grand Wash is not the place to be.
Very little water and harsh conditions favor plants which learn to adapt.
Davy scales the cliffs near Hickman Bridge bowl.
Morning sun rises over Hickman Bridge.
Named after Joseph Hickman, Hickman natural bridge is 133 feet long and 125 feet high.
Weather sandstone makes for interesting trail markers on the Hickman Bridge trail in Capitol Reef.
The Freemont river cuts a valley just below Capitol Dome.
Anne and Davy stand below 125 foot high Hickman Bridge.
Capitol Dome, Capitol Reef National Park.
Red dirt still glows just after sunset in Capitol Reef National Park.
Moon sets over Capitol Reef National Park.
The Big Dipper rises above Grand Wash Wind Gate in Capitol Reef.
Stars above Grand Wash Capitol Reef.
View of Chimney Rock Capitol Reef.
Capitol Reef National Park.
Verdant valleys contrast the sandstone cliffs of Capitol Reef National Park.
Trees provide welcome shade at the Fuita Campground in Capitol Reef National Park.
Apple orchards thrive in the valleys of Capitol Reef National Park.
Apple orchards thrive in the valleys of Capitol Reef.