The crows are in the pine forest, having a frenzied morning breakfast. Dozens of the black winged ones tearing up the rich smooth carpet of pine needles in a dazzling display of ruckus chaotic energy. Something so wild, I know what it is to be in the center of that noise and mayhem. In the midst of it all I sense a calm, even for the six legged ones being unveiled from the dark safe place nestled in the forest floor being plucked and eaten. I sense a peace within the nourishment and death of the moment. I notice a willingness in nature to give to the great cause. To eat and be eaten, to birth and to compost, it all seems just and honorable to die as it is to be born. This time of year with the fall and the long cold winter approaching, I have noticed a deer giving the gift of her self over to me. Usually the deer are so aware and shy, running away at the site or sound of me walking through the woods. But each year one deer just stands there, her side facing me allowing me to get within rock throwing distance, it seems as though she is giving herself to me so I may have her to sustain this life through another winter. As my food still comes from the garden or the market, I choose to speak to her, thank her for the offering, she walks off somewhat bewildered that her gift was not accepted. I walk off feeling blessed deep down in the primal place that still resides at my core.
Today as I walked in the woods I was really stuck by how messed up nature is. It’s not like the city parks of my youth when the economy allowed for all the trees to be perfectly groomed and trimmed, paths cleared and nature as the perfect vision of health. In this pine forest that I walk all these trees are so randomly placed, all the fallen ones scattered every which way no rhyme nor reason to any of it the only paths are where the deer walk and their so much shorter then I, I have to walk stooped over much of the time. Spider webs face high, climbing over fallen trees, slipping in the wet leaves, poison ivy, dangerous mushrooms why is this mess seem so right? I used to marvel at the perfect carpet of pine needles woven into an immaculate smooth pristine floor that my eyes just loved the order and perfection of. Then those crows came in and totally messed the one perfect thing that this part of the forest had to offer. Then walking into the hardwood forest with immense verities of trees leaning and twisting all vying for their best shot at the god they worship, the sun. Fallen trees broken trees rotting and diseased trees vines of poison ivy, Virginia creeper and wild grape larger then my arm climbing a hundred feet or more, winding their way up, I assume in search of the very same god to worship. Hardly ever do I come across a tree that looks perfect, healthy straight and not in competition with its neighbor.
As messed up as nature seems to be, it’s hard for me to say that there is something wrong with it. I for some reason think that nature must be perfect even if I can’t see it. The mere fact that nature exists conjures up a belief that it must be flawless. So why is it so difficult for me to take that same belief into human nature. Why is it I am so totally unforgiving, judgmental and down right cynical of what it is to be human. I do believe I am nature I can even prescribe to the idea we are all one. I just have such a hard time with the way we often treat each other, the land, the water and the air. Could it all be in perfect balance, like the over populated herd of deer that die off to find balance in their numbers, could we just simply be living in the creative perfection. If my art has taught me anything it is to trust the creative process, it is an unstoppable beautiful energy even when it appears to be ugly. I find some peace in the choice to trust and search for the acceptance of all that is. And like that Indian in the 1960’s TV commercial, I will look at our earth with an open heart and allow the tear of care to drop from my cheek.