Monday, September 24, 2012

Blueberries and Bears

The moss all over the Douglas firs on Vancouver Island is truly magic. The light coming through is the softest, deepest of greens. It makes you breathe more slowly. It is full of old stories, humus.

On our way to Good Nature Farm, Callie and I stopped on the highway and wandered along a trail to this waterfall, which looks glowing here, because I smudged my camera lens by accident... The effect, however, more closely approximates what it was like to encounter this waterfall, and swim in the clear cold water at its base.

Now, I am picking blueberries. They are dusty and dew-wet at dawn, sweet as heaven, and huge.

After working, we swam in this lake the other day-- clearer than you can imagine, so good on my dusty skin.

Despite the beauty of blueberries, in order to pick them well you have to taste them on every side of the branch, and it can result in quite a stomach ache after a few hours!  Believe me! So, I relish the job of stacking firewood, which I find quite meditative-- I could do it all day, as the rainclouds gather and the smells of woodsmoke fill the air.

I will post more photos and words when I get home-- here, the internet is slow and there is not much time to use it.

The other day, a black bear was spotted in a tree just past the farm, in the red cedar woods. She has been on my mind since then, a beautiful dark presence in the forest, a wild life, like a dream to me. Across the street is an unfinished Buddhist temple where I sat for several mornings, next to the huge golden Buddha statue, all surrounded in plywood, and wrote. Here is one of the poems, full of blueberries and bears and the deep blue water that surrounds Vancouver Island:

The water is blue as blueberries
down there, along the edge,
it is blue as freedom
as the cold morning
and the fields of berries
where I will pick until
the world is a blueberry,
round and dusky in its perfect jacket,
and the black bears along the forest edge
come smelling at my fingertips,
my blue eyes, for that sweet globe
blue as the free wide waters,
as peace, sitting in a half-made temple,
at dawn, before the picking starts,
with the plywood, scaffolding, and
Golden Buddha big and calm.
He and the wood parts
rest here as equals,
easy in the unfinished,
in the world still being created
that is also your bear-loved
blueberry heart.

The mystery of bears...