Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The world with and without us

My cabin fever was bad today so I drove to the big nature preserve to escape. I am grateful for the metroparks system that cares for this land and does things like clear paths. This visit made me realize I haven't been in a long time, because I didn't realize how sunny it would be with no leaf cover.
The sylvan loop is one of my favorites. Someone has been busy here at the end of a precipitous drop! As I suspected, the paved paths and those close to the road were packed with people and dogs and bicycles, but I was almost completely alone in the wooded trails, which were muddier. I foolishly wore my regular boots instead of my muck boots, but it's not a bad thing that I'll have to clean and polish them as they were long overdue.
This is one overlook point from that trail. Two older men were jogging and telling stories to each other early on this path and when I was on this deck, one other woman stopped to admire the view. Then, no one for a while until two young women practiced lovely trail etiquette / physical distancing by stepping off the trail to let me pass and sharing a friendly greeting.
My biggest takeaway, besides the fact that there is no canopy in winter (duh!), was that a ton of trees have fallen since my last visit. And that's the normal cycle of trees. Mostly they were where they had fallen, but in the places where they blocked the trail, they've been moved or cut through for safe passage.
The textures here reminded me of the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland. The other side of the tree had a different story to tell.
Lots and lots of root textures.
Still lots of water (and more to come with rain forecasted for a week straight) covering the leaves, making a reflection of the trees that had dropped them in the first place. Everything makes sense, has its place and role, out here. The birdsong was different from what I hear at home and welcome music. I wish we were better at reciprocal living, which Robin Wall Kimmerer writes a lot about. Velma sent me an excellent interview with Robin, "on gardening and citizenship," that addresses that idea of us loving the earth and the earth loving us and gifting us with beans and so many other riches.
This sign is for the museum trail or something but whenever I see it it reminds me that I'm almost home (AKA almost to my car). After listening to the gardening interview, I listened to part of an older interview with Rebecca Solnit, and so appreciated her confirmation that people are generally good and revert to that in times of crisis, but are thwarted by systems that trap them and vilify them (she was talking specifically about the people of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina). I wanted to hear more of her stories and less interruption but still found it useful listening while sewing. I'm still stumbling through my days and nights but grateful for my human friends and family as well as my non-human ones.

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