Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Wisdom of Cobwebby Thistles & the Young Brush Rabbits in the Canes

The young brush rabbits are about, darting through the lush salmonberry canes. Oh, oh, to be so small, so soft, and to fit inside those thickets! What a world it must be in there. A gateway to the Otherworld, I always thought as a girl (and, well, still do!).

It seems the summertime is already upon us here—the hills have gone dry gold already, except where the cows graze them, and the fog is thickening out along the coast, muting the land to gentle pastels, to a dream of sand and dune and lupine.

“In that first hardly noticed moment in which you wake,
coming back to this life from the other
more secret, moveable and frighteningly honest world
where everything began,
there is a small opening into the new day
which closes the moment you begin your plans.

What you can plan is too small for you to live.
What you can live wholeheartedly will make plans enough
for the vitality hidden in your sleep.

To be human is to become visible
while carrying what is hidden as a gift to others.
To remember the other world in this world
is to live in your true inheritance.

You are not a troubled guest on this earth,
you are not an accident amidst other accidents
you were invited from another and greater night
than the one from which you have just emerged.

Now, looking through the slanting light of the morning window
toward the mountain presence of everything that can be
what urgency calls you to your one love?
What shape waits in the seed of you
to grow and spread its branches
against a future sky?

Is it waiting in the fertile sea?
In the trees beyond the house?
In the life you can imagine for yourself?
In the open and lovely white page on the waiting desk?”

-David Whyte

Oh, what beautiful beautiful words. I've encountered them more than once these past weeks and so I thought I would share them here. "To remember the other world in this world"— here it is in the young brush rabbits loping across the dunes, the snakes napping in tall grass, the beach strawberries holding gently a network of roots over the sand, the lupines almost unbearably sweet to smell (somehow they smell sweeter than ever). Each one knowing perfectly the seed of itself.

Here, that other world, that opening into the new day: the heart of the wild dune strawberry, star-perfect, where the bee knows just how to land.

Each wild one, living its Way out on the land, is an opening to that Other World that is nested into this one. The blue and yellow lupines, seeking moisture, sloughing off salt winds, smelling intoxicating, turning this dune rambler completely away from the tracks she was following to touch their blossoms and bury her face in them—they wake daily to the bumble bees and the ocean, they move through time with all of their being Right There, no Plan except to open when it is time to open, to lose petals when it is time to lose petals, to start again.

I think we have much to learn from them, these plants with their roots down, ever opening their arms, time and again.

And my goodness, if this cobwebby thistle (cirisum occidentale) isn't himself a magnificent unfurling doorway into the magic of the everyday, and of the languid drying summer, I don't know what is!


  1. Lovely post and photos. I have not heard of a beach strawberry before, very interesting

  2. Thank you....I needed a beauty shot today.

  3. Dear Sylvia,
    I hope you don't mind, but I've included links to your Indigo Vat and Gray Fox Epistle blogs in my latest post.
    Wanted to share my enthusiasm for both!