Friday, May 16, 2003

A week ago, a friend and I went for a walk in the woods. We were looking for morels, which we didn't find- it was too dry- but no matter, there were plenty of other things to see. Everything was beautiful that day: kinnikinnic vines, lady slippers, trilliums, amber mushrooms caps spreading like umbrellas under stumps and logs, chartreuse skunk cabbage flowers, the constant play of ripples on the lake, changing to concentric circles when a light rain began.

But the sight that captivated me most was an outcropping of boulders on a hillside. Massive, carpeted with moss turned crunchy and dry, there was a sort of quiet strength about them that spoke to me. Who knows how long these rocks have been there and what they have endured? Perhaps they were moved to their present location long ago by glaciers melting, or maybe they were there for millenia, exposed as the glaciers scraped away the soil above them. Ages have gone by, countless rains have fallen on them, they have seen prehistoric creatures that we can only imagine or speculate over, but there they sit, impassive as ever. Some say that stones are cold, cruel and heartless; but that is not the way I see them. Pitted by time, fractured with crevices, the boulders are mother and host to not only the moss, but small, succulent plants, delicate larkspurs, and curling tendrils of ferns which I have seen growing only on stone, or under the sheltering overhang of it. To me they are the epitome of endurance and tranquility, triumphing over centuries of trials and abuse, and the more beautiful for it, too.

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