Monday, June 15, 2009

MISTY MORNING…

Early morning, long before the sun slips up from the east, I stand on the deck and look across the Cottage Pool toward the island. The river wears a gauzy veil—a mist thin and silvery, translucent as it diffracts the light amid slow swirls which sometimes merge with the movement of the river’s warm currents, loosely cojoining the two elements, water and sky, though always their borders remain ambiguous, unclear.
Looking upstream from the deck.
There’s an innocence to such mornings that I adore, a Garden-of-Eden illusion that is both mysterious and comforting. I can sense the newness of creation. Forget, if only briefly, all the ugliness and turmoil, grief, sickness, and trouble of the world. What I see before me is it, all there is, everything…and the mood is filled with gentle peace and quiet joy. A great blue heron fishes in the shallows at the upstream tip of the island, alert to my presence the moment I stepped into view. I wonder if he’s caught anything for breakfast. Yesterday’s on-off showers have freshed and roiled the stream so that it is neither muddy nor clear, but rather a nebulous shade that’s more a dull olive…still fishable if I were of such a mind today. The only sounds I can detect are the slow whispers of current against the rocks, and from somewhere behind, a titmouse calling its usual peter, peter, peter. The turkey vultures which roost on the island are invisible in their treetops; they likely won’t reappear for another hour—depending on the mist’s longevity. Even then, they’ll probably just reposition themselves to catch the burgeoning light, then sit around a while warming damp bones in the rising sun, waiting for that moment when whichever of them gets to decide such matters, finally launches from his perch, catches on outspread wings, flaps once or twice to begin a slow lifting into the morning. I have yard work to do today, things I’d hoped to get finished over the weekend but couldn’t manage because of the rain. So I need to fix my own breakfast and get started. But for just a few minutes longer I linger…savoring the diffused green light, the sweet cool breath of morning against my cheek, the magic of the moving river as it appears from some unseen, secret source, gains clarity as it glides sibilantly near my feet, then fades and disappears again into the unfathomable mist to continue its enviable journey.

25 comments:

KGMom said...

I would so not get anything done, were I to live along the banks of such beauty.

Carolyn H said...

Griz: what a lovely way to start the day. Sometimes it is easy to forget what borders my forest and to see only the forest. Of course, that's the part I want to see, even though I know what is nearby.

Carolyn H.

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

KGMom…

Trust me…there are times when chores and similar meaningful work—other than my necessary writing—slip right on downstream. I can fritter away huge blocks of daylight if I let myself—and given the right mood, I can be a pretty lenient boss.

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

Carolyn…

It was a lovely morning—and like you, I sometimes almost forget until I take the time to look again with my mind and heart.

Rowan said...

A lovely atmospheric piece of writing Scribe and equally lovely photographs. There is something magical about very early summer mornings.

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

Rowan…

There is a quality of magic in mornings, for sure. Mornings are my favorite time; I look forward to seeing the yard and river, looking upstream and down, listening for the birds, checking out the flowers.

Thank you for the nice words re. the writing. I hope I managed to convey just a little of what it was like here this morning.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

I so identify with your 'for just a few minutes longer I linger' ... I love my work, but it is so magical to stand exultantly and savour the landscape.

Wanda said...

Your description of the up river view made the photos all the more magical...Your ability to put into words what you see and feel is book worthy...right along with your photos...I was moved by it's calm beauty.

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

Raph…

Yes, it truly is. I love my work, too—but there's a creative well that needs refilling if you wish to do good work.

I could quite easily spend from dawn until midmorning just sitting on the riverbank, sipping my coffee, watching and listening as the world comes alive. Somehow, when the day is just beginning, I can put my mind in freewheel, delve into those right-brain regions which perhaps haven't had all that much traffic lately. I can manage to place my world in order and find good reason to go on with the rest of the day.

I suspect you understand exactly what I'm saying…

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

Wanda…

As always, you are generous and kind in your compliments. For them, I thank you, truly. I do want to share this place with readers via photos and prose—using whatever alchemy of talent I can muster on a given day. If I succeed every now and then, I'm both pleased and humbled that I'm allowed such blessings.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Scribe - that mist on the river is so brought to life in your writing that I can smell it, breathe it in and savour it. I recall one morning here when cattle were standing in the long grass and the mist was up to their knees - there was that special kind of stillness that goes with mist - and I didn't have my camera to record it - but I remember the image still.
Beautiful post.

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

Weaver…

I just got lucky with the heron—I was intending to take a shot of the mist, and so carried my camera out with me, but didn't see the bird at the upstream end of the island until I stepped around the corner.

(Incidentally, if you click on the island shot you can just make out—looking close, slightly to the left and above the center—that tree and root upon which the heron is standing.)

Those cows standing in the grass with mist pooling to their knees sounds almost magical—and if even you didn't get the shot, your word description records the image well.

Jain said...

I wish my muddy little bend had riffles. :o(

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

Jain…

Uh-huh, and I wish my river (WITH a riffle) had Junberries and a garden with fresh radishes and lettuce and…

Remember all that concrete where you used to live? No riffles there either, unless someone's bathtub overflowed down the stairwell.

Perspective is everything. :-)

´¯`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸ ><((((((º>
`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸ ><((((º>
´¯`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸¸·´¯`·.¸ ><((((((º>

Bernie said...

Hi Griz, I am not a jealous person nor have I ever been but I have to admit I had a twinge of envy looking at your photo's and visualizing the serene, calmness you were privlege to view before you began your day. To me it was breathtaking and your descriptions put me by the river for a few moments. I thank you my friend for sharing......:- Hugs

Jain said...

:o)

Jayne said...

I love that time in the morning. It is such a fleeting moment, but so very sacred.

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

Bernie…

This is a lovely setting, and a charming limestone cottage. The downside is that the house is small, has little storage, and needs either lots of time (do-it-yourself) or lots of cash (pay for professionals) to repair and/or update.

Also, the river does rise, regularly, and sometimes to the scary point…and given the right set of circumstances (heavy rains upstream day after day) and in spite of some new floodproofing measures and a floor now raised 6 inches higher than the original, will sooner or later make it inside; it has done so three times since 1919, the year the stone cottage was built.

So you do have to have the proper mindset to live here—be willing to face the fact that the beauty and rewards are yours to enjoy, but that a price might one day be extracted, and that nature—not you—calls the shots.

All that said, I love this place dearly and thank God every day for such a blessing.

Gail said...

Hi Grizz-

the photos are so peaceful and inviting. i want to walk in to the mystery and fade........

amen.

Love to you
Gail
peace.....

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

Jain…

In August, when my riffle has dwindled and you've just spread the fresh, tasty bounty of your garden on the supper table, I'll write to you and whine vociferously and with great envy…okay?

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

Jayne…

Such mornings do shape my days. They are holy, like a living prayer.

Jain said...

Okay, Scribe. :o)

I just now had the time to actually ~read~ your entry. Really lovely writing regarding the mist and I could feel my bones warming along with the vultures'. Your heron is a stunner.

Lisa said...

Oh my, I am there with you through your writings.

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

Jain…

I'm glad you liked the piece—thank you.

As for that heron, it was standing so erect because I'd just appeared around the cottage's corner, and the old feathered angler was trying to assess the level of threat I presented: will that bulky, ugly dude come wading across the stream and try to wring my neck?

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

Lisa…

That's what I tried to do in writing the piece…take others along.

I hope you enjoyed the river…

Thank you.