Monday, May 10, 2010

monday musings

Soft, cool blades of grass tickle my feet as I breath in the warm, afternoon air. The trees, towering evergreens, are few and far between here.

I trade the grass underfoot for a worn dirt path through thicker trees. The humming of life in the air grows stronger here; it is full of the vibrant sounds of birds, insects, distant waves, and a quiet breeze. I thrill at the tingle in the air and the uncanny promise of adventure.

I pad dreamily onward, drinking in the lush green around me. I watch the waving, golden grasses where the sun breaks through. Ahead, though, the wood grows darker. More exciting.

I round a bend in the path--and halt, heart clenching in sudden stillness.

The forest is broken by an entirely wrong view: a rusty chainlink fence, and, behind it, a delapidated old trailer, sharp and painful in its ugliness. Nothing so stark and blemished should exist here. My haunt is utterly spoiled.

I turn, fleeing the sour tang of reality. Even the path back through the wood has lost its charm. I know now that it is only an illusion of perfection.

I reach the grass again, and, finally, the house is in sight.

I halt.

More than one contrast is at work here. The house I now face, sweeping and sceneic in its vast, riverfront setting, could not be more different from the painful eye-sore back in the woods.

Perhaps these imbalances show how wrong the world is. After all, indutrialization is intruding upon nature. Even within civilization itself, men are unequal, exploited. With this outlook, many people find the world depressing, unalterably broken.

But perhaps there is another view.

Perhaps these ramblings in the woods would not feel so wonderfully mysterious or thrilling if I did not know that safety and comfort lay just beyond the reach of the trees.

Perhaps even the repulsive trailer serves to keep a balance in its own way. Perhaps without the contrast between the imperfection of one thing and the aesthetic appeal of another, beauty would lose its power, its value, and its worth.

Perhaps there is a sense of balance in the world after all.

so, as always, what do you think? (try to ignore the flowery descriptions...i've been reading L.M. Montgomery lately, and it's kind of rubbed off on me.) even if you don't agree, i want to know what your opinion is.


  1. I love the descriptions. And the musing about balance is interesting. You're definitely right, I wouldn't love the woods nearly as much if I didn't have a safe warm home to go back to.

    I grew up near the woods and I know exactly that delicious feeling you're describing in your first three paragraphs. Then one day, our neighbor who owned the woods decided to harvest all the walnut trees. With a bulldozer. I know that jarring feeling when you go somewhere and turn a corner expecting beauty only to find a gaping, raw wound in the landscape.

    I like nice new houses and shopping centers, but sometimes they make me sad because I wonder whose secret getaway they paved over.

  2. oh! what a sad story. i don't think i would ever be able to like someone who did something so harsh, even if they were a neighbor.

    i know what you mean about the development--where i live, though, the forests are much more likely to be destroyed by a forest fire than industrialization. either way, it is devastating to lose special places that can never be recreated.

    thank you for your insight. it's nice to know that someone else feels the same way, even if it is kind of an unhappy topic


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