Sometimes Mother Nature…

By Glenda | August 23, 2012

Something I experienced and wrote about this summer.
Glenda Taylor

“Sometimes Mother Nature is a bitch,” she said.

She was replying to our text message telling her
that the mountain wilderness, once so loved—once
dense with stately spruce, shimmering aspen,
dark fir, pitch pine, and mystery, that same
mountain wilderness where a bear
once walked nearby us,
and deer and elk in herds
moved across meadows rank with green,
and once, too, an ancient owl,
happened upon suddenly,
sharp talons gripping the edge of a stump,
eye-level, stayed, sharp bright eyes piercing me,
equally transfixed, a few feet away, and
that owl stayed, for minutes or eternity,
we each stayed, perfectly still, owl and me,
as, pulsing between us, secret songs, imprinting awareness,
until that owl, while still firmly standing utterly still,
finally, majestically, slowly spread its wings,
a wingspan startlingly many times wider than its height,
and still it stayed yet longer, revealing to me its full incredible self,
before, finally, flying just over my head, into the darkening forest—

that owl-inhabited wilderness, visited yesterday,
after long absence, had, ten years ago,
we learned, been swept by massive fire,
fire covering many mountainsides, all now,
even years later, covered only, here and there,
with blackened trunks no longer trees,
fallen ruin everywhere, unhealed
all these years, not barren, really, but ravaged,
unrecognizable in its scars. A deep sadness filled our souls,
as we sent her a text message with such news.

“Yes,” she replied, and she knows,
having lost so much herself
in a hurricane, only a few years ago,
“Mother Nature can be a bitch.”

But, here’s the thing (and she knows this too,
though she didn’t say so in her text):

who can resist that shape-shifting bitch,
who, even yesterday, as we were sadly
coming down the mountain from
that charred remnant of wilderness,

threw across our way,
there in the rainy mist,
a shining double rainbow,
ground to ground,

and, as we watched from the roadside,
car suddenly parked in a ditch,
ourselves tumbled out to watch,
as one end of that radiant bow
actually moved closer and closer,
down the slope, toward us,

until it seemed we were standing at the very foot of that rainbow,
ourselves the pot of gold and the ancient promise remembered,
“I’ll not destroy everything again, ever.”

So we laughed and cried and sang together, hugging each other ,
my chosen song, “Over the Rainbow,” strongly, in the gathering mists,
for the sheer love, undiminished,
of that blessed bitch, Mother Nature, she
in all her changeable, inescapable, inscrutable
mystery and beauty.

Yes, fires rage elsewhere, even now, and fierce winds blow,
and drought and flood, and record-setting heat and freezing cold,
all that and more, bear’s hug crushing, owl’s talon tearing,
snake coiled to strike, humankind, unkind, at war, yes, all that…

And yet, and, always, the tender green shoot,
the rising mountain, the full moon, the quiet rain,
the delicate petal opening, the child’s laughter,
any sunlit meadow, full of glory,
the passionate love, swelling,
the burst of berry on the tongue…

always Mother Nature, emerging and re-emerging,
there she is again and yet again,
in some new, soul-capturing, breath-taking
beauty, wonder, and enchantment.

So, yes, to that too! Yes, but, once again, now,
remembering, contemplating, assessing, eyes open,
accepting, inside our hearts, as always,
we fall on our knees, again,
as again, we remember to say:

Though you consume me, yet will I love you.

4 comments | Add One

  1. Christine G. - 08/23/2012 at 10:23 am

    Beautifully written. Thank you so much for sharing. It brought tears to my eyes. Love you!

  2. Beverly - 08/23/2012 at 2:10 pm

    I am humbled thanks again!

  3. Harriette Orelup - 08/24/2012 at 7:02 am

    Hi Glenda, I’m so happy to have found you again since I no longer get your emails. Your writing restores my soul through your love of mother nature even as I sit in the city, hidden from bears and owls. I cannot recall now the name of your retreat, but I hope, and now assume, that you have been spared a visitation from any of our recent Texas fires. My love to you. Harriette

  4. Carol Henderson - 08/25/2012 at 4:44 pm

    thank you … lovely, perfectly lovely …
    Love to you always … Carol

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