The groves were God’s first temples.
– William Cullen Bryant, A Forest Hymn
Mary’s Garden Assistant. This is the 2nd year that she has come back. We rescued her when she was young, having fallen out of the tree. We saved her from the cats, fed her and helped her to fly.
Miss Robin joins Mary when she working in the garden, often no more than a foot or two away from Mary, waiting for bugs and worms. Sadly, she turns her beak up at slugs. A bit of retraining?
She is a member of a family that has come to the same tree since we have been here at our house. I begin to suspect that there are traditional grounds for most animals…. There are also areas of our yards where swarms of gnats appear every year, like clock work.
The Tao of life, the Morphic Fields abound around and within us. The Squirrels, the Crow Tribe, The Raccoon Raiders… all have their place in our world. The gnats, the bees… (oh the bees!) all have their parts to play in the divine dance, of the garden.
They shouldn’t grow here, but somehow they do. I have raised most of them since they were wee pups. Good friends, and a wonder for the garden here in the NW.
I have always loved raising cactus. I started in San Francisco some 30 years ago. Fascinating plants, and very patient and forgiving.
A trio of beings who really dodge the camera at the best of times. This is looking to the SW…
We have some challenges for growing in our garden, as our neighbor believes that if you trim trees, they will only grow more. Thank goodness this logic doesn’t run to keeping the yard trimmed. Way to much shade!
Our Challenge every year….
Our new Fire Pit. Rowan is wild for this little number. We were looking for one of those portable ones, but ended up sticking to earth and rock, the old standbys…
Since we have put it in, we don’t eat inside any more. Nice!
I love watching the flames. It brings out the dreaming… and it turns Marys’ Garden into a magickal place for us.
On the Menu:
Big Brother’s new toy: Another bloated gas bag watching you from the sky
Quotes: On Gardeners & Trees
Two Poems on Nature: William Cullen Bryant
I hope you enjoy this edition.
By James Renner – Cleveland Free Times
Last week, a fire ignited at the Akron Airdock that once housed a fleet of Goodyear blimps. Firemen rushed to the 211-foot-tall structure and quickly doused the flames. Reporters and photographers descended on the landmark. Many were surprised to learn the blimps were no longer being stored there.
Turns out Lockheed Martin — the company that gave us the Trident intercontinental ballistic missile — was renovating the site for an upcoming project when the fire started. It’s being turned into a hangar for a prototype airship. If you’re frightened of this administration’s habit of spying on American citizens, you may want to stop reading.
The prototype is called the High Altitude Airship, or HAA. Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems & Sensors in Akron won the $40 million contract from the Missile Defense Agency to build HAA in 2003. It is essentially another blimp. A giant one. Seventeen times the size of the Goodyear dirigible. It’s designed to float 12 miles above the earth, far above planes and weather systems. It will be powered by solar energy, and will stay in a geocentric orbit for up to a year, undetectable by ground-based radar. You can’t see it from the ground. But it can see you.
“The possibilities are endless for homeland security,” says Kate Dunlap, a Lockheed Martin spokesperson. “It could house cameras, and other surveillance equipment. It would be an eye in the sky.”
According to a summary released by the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, the HAA can watch over a circle of countryside 600 miles in diameter. That’s everything between Toledo and New York City. And they want to build 11. With high-res cameras, that could mean constant surveillance of every square inch of American soil. “If you had a fleet of them, this could be used for border surveillance,” suggests Dunlap.
Launch date: 2009.
Of course, mimicking its defense of warrantless wiretapping and phone-log data mining, the government maintains it only wants to protect its citizens from external threats. But as any geek can tell you, blimps were ubiquitous in The Watchmen, the seminal ’80s graphic novel in which heroes have been driven underground and Nixon is still president.
Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not watching you.
Trees and the Gardener…
Our Cherry Tree, left over from when our part of town was the largest insane asylum west of the Mississippi. Some say it still is. We try to maintain the tradition in our own little ways….
When you enter a grove peopled with ancient trees, higher than
the ordinary, and shutting out the sky with their thickly inter-twined
branches, do not the stately shadows of the wood, the stillness of
the place, and the awful gloom of this doomed cavern then strike
you with the presence of a deity?
Trees serve as homes for visiting devas who do not manifest in earthly bodies,
but live in the fibers of the trunks and larger branches of the trees, feed from
the leaves and communicate through the tree itself. Some are permanently
stationed as guardians of sacred places.
– Hindu Deva Shastra, verse 117, Nature Devas
The sacred tree, the sacred stone are not adored as stone or tree;
they are worshipped precisely because they are hierophanies,
because they show something that is no longer stone or tree but sacred,
the ganz andere or ‘wholly other.’
– Mircea Eliade, Myths, Dreams and Mysteries
Trees are poems that earth writes upon the sky,
We fell them down and turn them into paper,
That we may record our emptiness.
– Kahlil Gibran
God is the experience of looking at a tree and saying, “Ah!”
– Joseph Campbell
Give me a land of boughs in leaf,
A land of trees that stand;
Where trees are fallen there is grief;
I love no leafless land.”
– A.E. Housman
We can see from the experience of Odin that the image of the tree was the template
within which all of the sacred world could be apprehended. The tree was the framework
within which one “flew” to these Otherworlds. And since the exploration of sacred space
was also a quest into the nature of human consciousness, the tree was regarded as an
image of the ways in which we, humans, are constructed psychically. It was a natural
model for our deepest wisdom, our highest aspirations.
– Brian Bates, Sacred Trees
Two Poems on Nature: William Cullen Bryant
A Forest Hymn
THE groves were God’s first temples. Ere man learned
To hew the shaft, and lay the architrave,
And spread the roof above them,—ere he framed
The lofty vault, to gather and roll back
The sound of anthems; in the darkling wood,
Amidst the cool and silence, he knelt down,
And offered to the Mightiest solemn thanks
And supplication. For his simple heart
Might not resist the sacred influences,
Which, from the stilly twilight of the place,
And from the gray old trunks that high in heaven
Mingled their mossy boughs, and from the sound
Of the invisible breath that swayed at once
All their green tops, stole over him, and bowed
His spirit with the thought of boundless power
And inaccessible majesty. Ah, why
Should we, in the world’s riper years, neglect
God’s ancient sanctuaries, and adore
Only among the crowd, and under roofs,
That our frail hands have raised? Let me, at least,
Here, in the shadow of this aged wood,
Offer one hymn—thrice happy, if it find
Acceptance in His ear.
Father, thy hand
Hath reared these venerable columns, thou
Didst weave this verdant roof. Thou didst look down
Upon the naked earth, and, forthwith, rose
All these fair ranks of trees. They, in thy sun,
Budded, and shook their green leaves in the breeze,
And shot towards heaven. The century-living crow,
Whose birth was in their tops, grew old and died
Among their branches, till, at last, they stood,
As now they stand, massy, and tall, and dark,
Fit shrine for humble worshipper to hold
Communion with his Maker. These dim vaults,
These winding aisles, of human pomp and pride
Report not. No fantastic carvings show
The boast of our vain race to change the form
Of thy fair works. But thou art here—thou fill’st
The solitude. Thou art in the soft winds
That run along the summit of these trees
In music; thou art in the cooler breath
That from the inmost darkness of the place
Comes, scarcely felt; the barky trunks, the ground,
The fresh moist ground, are all instinct with thee.
Here is continual worship;—Nature, here,
In the tranquility that thou dost love,
Enjoys thy presence. Noiselessly, around,
From perch to perch, the solitary bird
Passes; and yon clear spring, that, midst its herbs,
Wells softly forth and wandering steeps the roots
Of half the mighty forest, tells no tale
Of all the good it does. Thou hast not left
Thyself without a witness, in these shades,
Of thy perfections. Grandeur, strength, and grace
Are here to speak of thee. This mighty oak—
By whose immovable stem I stand and seem
Almost annihilated—not a prince,
In all that proud old world beyond the deep,
E’er wore his crown as lofty as he
Wears the green coronal of leaves with which
Thy hand has graced him. Nestled at his root
Is beauty, such as blooms not in the glare
Of the broad sun. That delicate forest flower
With scented breath, and look so like a smile,
Seems, as it issues from the shapeless mould,
An emanation of the indwelling Life,
A visible token of the upholding Love,
That are the soul of this wide universe.
My heart is awed within me when I think
Of the great miracle that still goes on,
In silence, round me—the perpetual work
Of thy creation, finished, yet renewed
Forever. Written on thy works I read
The lesson of thy own eternity.
Lo! all grow old and die—but see again,
How on the faltering footsteps of decay
Youth presses—-ever gay and beautiful youth
In all its beautiful forms. These lofty trees
Wave not less proudly that their ancestors
Moulder beneath them. Oh, there is not lost
One of earth’s charms: upon her bosom yet,
After the flight of untold centuries,
The freshness of her far beginning lies
And yet shall lie. Life mocks the idle hate
Of his arch enemy Death—yea, seats himself
Upon the tyrant’s throne—the sepulchre,
And of the triumphs of his ghastly foe
Makes his own nourishment. For he came forth
From thine own bosom, and shall have no end.
There have been holy men who hid themselves
Deep in the woody wilderness, and gave
Their lives to thought and prayer, till they outlived
The generation born with them, nor seemed
Less aged than the hoary trees and rocks
Around them;—and there have been holy men
Who deemed it were not well to pass life thus.
But let me often to these solitudes
Retire, and in thy presence reassure
My feeble virtue. Here its enemies,
The passions, at thy plainer footsteps shrink
And tremble and are still. Oh, God! when thou
Dost scare the world with falling thunderbolts, or fill,
With all the waters of the firmament,
The swift dark whirlwind that uproots the woods
And drowns the village; when, at thy call,
Uprises the great deep and throws himself
Upon the continent, and overwhelms
Its cities—who forgets not, at the sight
Of these tremendous tokens of thy power,
His pride, and lays his strifes and follies by?
Oh, from these sterner aspects of thy face
Spare me and mine, nor let us need the wrath
Of the mad unchained elements to teach
Who rules them. Be it ours to meditate,
In these calm shades, thy milder majesty,
And to the beautiful order of the works
Learn to conform the order of our lives.
The Gladness of Nature
IS this a time to be cloudy and sad,
When our mother Nature laughs around;
When even the deep blue heavens look glad,
And gladness breathes from the blossoming ground?
There are notes of joy from the hang-bird and wren,
And the gossip of swallows through all the sky;
The ground-squirrel gaily chirps by his den,
And the wilding bee hums merrily by.
The clouds are at play in the azure space,
And their shadows at play on the bright green vale,
And here they stretch to the frolic chase,
And there they roll on the easy gale.
There’s a dance of leaves in that aspen bower,
There’s a titter of winds in that beechen tree,
There’s a smile on the fruit, and a smile on the flower,
And a laugh from the brook that runs to the sea.
And look at the broad-faced sun, how he smiles
On the dewy earth that smiles in his ray,
On the leaping waters and gay young isles;
Ay, look, and he’ll smile thy gloom away.
Our Sky over the Roof…
Have a wonderful day…