Saturday, May 9, 2009

COUNTING THE RINGS

A few minutes ago I took a break from rearranging a portion of the woodpile to sit a spell and watch the river. It’s cool here this morning and the sky is filled with ragged clouds, so the light is constantly changing from bright to muted to dim. Perhaps this shifting illumination has contributed to my unsettled mood—set me on a path of pensive contemplation as I gaze at the brown water passing with scarcely a sound a dozen feet away. What secrets does this venerable river know? What can it teach me? More pointedly, what am I capable of learning? Am I open enough to receive such lessons? Sufficiently perceptive to recognize their wisdom? Time is like the river, ever-flowing, in constant passage. Which matters most—duration or distance? Does source set the destination…or is it all the shifting and turning, the pools and pour-overs and back-eddies, the influence of land and years through which we make out way? We travel unceasingly, blindly, sometimes racing, yet at times feel almost stagnant. What shapes and molds us? Is it darkness or light? Summer’s heat or winter’s cold? Before I came over and sat down, I took time to count the growth rings on a rough-sawn chunk of hackberry in the woodpile. Some were wide, others narrow, visible recordings of years forever passed. I thought it amusing when I realized that round of wood and I were approximately the same age. Of course the tree from which the small section of log came has already met its end—though it will finish in a literal blaze of glory next winter when I add it to a cheery hearth fire. Meanwhile, I will add another growth ring to my own time on earth tomorrow. Which of us, I wonder, has fared the best? When my own life circles are counted and considered, will I measure up? I hope so. I pray that I will have been strong and solid…and if I might be granted just one wish, that my final gift might be to somehow bring a measure of warmth to someone who needs it on a cold winter's night.

18 comments:

Wanda said...

Your posts add a brightness and warmth to our days now...just like that log will this winter for you.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Wanda…

Thank you for such a nice comment. BTW, I appreciate your lovely blog, too.

Jenn Jilks said...

Thoughtful post, Griz.
I have had a palliative care client pass away last night. The family phoned me.

My mother passed away the day before Mother's Day. I did not know how ill she was.

These are thoughtful times.
I was so glad I could give my client the love and care I could not give my own mother. No reason for anyone to be in pain in this day and age.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Jenn…

I'm sorry to hear of your client's passing—though of course that's why you're there. And I know firsthand how important and appreciated your job with palliative care is, by all concerned.

I cared for my mother daily for the last few years of her life. It was difficult, but necessary…and I wouldn't have had it any other way. I'm so very glad I could do what I did.

Gail said...

Hi Grizz-
Beautiful photo and very provoking and heart-felt writing. Deep and perhaps disturbing and at the sme time inspiring and enlightening as well. Again, such is life.

I wonder too about days and people passed, and the 'rings' of imprints forever etched in me. Many of my own making, others given as gifts or even imposed. Often surprises or delightful creativity. Again, such is life....

YOU have given me solace through your photos, your life shared, and your words. And for that I "thank you".

Love Gail
peace..........

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

I've learned from looking a tree's rings that not years are alike—some are nurturing, some lean. There are days of hardship and days of abundance. But it is this varied growth that makes for strength, that gives resilience and allows us to mature and endure, to weather storms and be valuable.

Take care…

Gail said...

Grizz-

Yes, SO true. I honor all my "rings"
each part of my design. They are varied in color and depth and some are sensitive - others, tough as nails! Some look like ragged razors, some smooth as icy glass. Each one is purposeful and most importantly, loved.

You are a beautiful man Grizz - in ways that only your "rings" can define.

Love and peace
Gail

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

To honor yourself you must see, as you have said, all sides; you must uphold the dignity and value of your journey, and practice those moments of obeisance when necessary.

Stand strong…yield…honor…love.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

You bring warmth and thoughtfulness and life-enhancing observations every posting, Grizzled! Happy Birthday!

Hildred and Charles said...

I look forward to your posts each day, - your perception, your writings and your philosophy attract something within me. I would say that you contribute a tremendous amount of beauty and comfort and wisdom. and I wish you a Happy Birthday tomorrow.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Raph…

I take that as a wonderful compliment coming from one who lives in such a lovely, colorful world. Thank you!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Hildred & Charles…

I don't know how perceptive or wise I am, but my philosophy has long been to find the good and the beauty in life, and to embrace it with all the joy possible. I do appreciate your kind words.

Bernie said...

I concur with Wanda, Happy Birthday...:-)

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bernie…

It is a beautiful day here on the riverbank for a birthday…even if I am one year closer to geezerhood.

Thank you for your well wishes, and I'm glad you enjoy the blog.

Val said...

Your encouraging words have warmed my heart many times over...

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Val…

And your lovely compliments have encouraged my words more than once. Thank you.

Sydney said...

Beautiful Scribe.

I think Thoreau has competition. Seriously.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Sydney…

I'm flattered to the point of near insensate bliss! :-)))

Okay…I'm over it. And I'm thinking Thoreau is still safe of his literary pedestal. But the though sure was nice. Thank you.