holy – Wherein vicki realizes that Weariness makes her Irritable and Sunshine brings her Life.

There isn’t a place
in this world that doesn’t

sooner or later drown
in the indigos of darkness,

……………

But I also say this: that light
is an invitation
to happiness,
and that happiness,

when it’s done right,
is a kind of holiness,
palpable and redemptive.
Inside the bright fields,
I am washed and washed
in the river
of earthly delight—

and what are you going to do—
what can you do
about it—
deep, blue night?

-Mary Oliver

I’ve been reading a 1909 novel, wherein each chapter is titled thusly, eg “Wherein Mrs. Comstock Dances in the Moonlight, and Elnora Makes a Confession” and “Wherein Philip Ammon Kneels to the Queen of Love and Chicago Comes to the Limberlost”. Those titles make me smile each time the page turns to a new chapter.

The novel tells the story of a young woman who also finds her solace and salvation in the woods and wetlands surrounding her home, her daily forays an escape from an unhappy childhood and a bitter mother. I came upon the title on a list of nature books written by women. Gene Stratton Porter set her novel in her beloved Limberlost swamp of northeast Illinois, writing at the time that those habitat rich wetlands of the Midwest were being dredged and drilled. Her words describing those forested swamps ooze with detail and delight. (The fact that they were soon thereafter devastated by human folly fills me with sorrow. )

I reread an old post of my own, which came up as a memory for me today. My own journal entry, penned by headlamp in the shelter of a tent, struck me likewise by its exquisite tenderness.

A sensuous paddle ensued as we intimately explored Bonnechere Lake from her chin to her toes, teasing our way down both of her arms, stopping to more intimately investigate a few sites along the way and discovering the charming and hidden, Cradle Lake, where we lingered a while on a slip of land between the two bodies of water. I was rather enchanted by that site, with its natural boulder fireplace and foot trails leading up to lichen and moss covered overlooks, and hope to land there again one day…”

I mean, who writes that way about a body of water?

Someone in Love. You know how it is when you fall in love. The pain of your life falls away, at least for a time, in the arms of that lover. That’s how it is, I suppose, for those of us who find the beloved deep in the natural world. There we can escape and release, forget and forgive, linger in love and be filled with delight.

I wanted to add to that list, ‘be healed and made whole’ but I’m still not certain how to carry that deep peace back into my ‘house’, so sometimes I wonder if that healing is entirely true. Perhaps I require a stronger dose, a continuous drip, an infusion of Love.

This afternoon I took a long walk in the brisk sunshine.

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