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Friday, February 10, 2012

On becoming a doe

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What is it you feel on a walk in the woods when you know that suddenly you must stop, because the energy within you and surrounding you has become one? The white pines you love, from the tops of their sky-touching branches to the needled floor coppery and aching to be slept on, are full of deer-ness, though there is not one in sight. And, as though magically transposed into a doe yourself, at last you commence your walk, changed. Yet, as a deer, though you might have assumed before now that you would be fearful as one, you are not afraid; rather, you are attentive, listening, stepping foremost with your nose, black and moist, your ears and hide the color of the pine needles, together ruffling in the breeze.

And from where did it come, this deer-ness, and what does it matter, when next day on the next walk you remember that you are now a doe and instantly you hear a rustle by the pond, not thirty feet away. There, six does eat leaves of the poplar saplings and stop for you. O the moments when this transpires, the eternal moments when everything is one. They recognize you now. They have met you here for breakfast. They felt you within and without, walking in the air, eager to join them by the frozen pond table. They know that you are no longer separate. Yet it is their nature to bound off at last and leave you, alone, aware that you were the one who had this to learn.
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42 comments:

Jill of All Trades said...

Nice.

Kathleen said...

Yes!

erin said...

as i read this, ruth, something inside of me disbands, takes off its human clothes, and something in side of me solidifies into being, as well. dissolution/embodiment, the eternal pendulum.

gorgeous. i feel calm.

xo
erin

"Auntie" sezzzzzz... said...

-happy sigh- Lovely...

"How can a woman be expected to be happy with a man who insists on treating her as if she were a perfectly normal human being."
~Oscar Wilde
,-)

JeannetteLS said...

I teared up. You brought back a long moment for me, up near World's End in Pennsylvania. A solely pined spot overlooking a deep, deep valley with the creek far below. Nothing but mountains and sky before me. And two pairs of golden eagles dancing, sometimes so close I can see the feathers.

Same thing. Peace and oneness. Thank you so much for this. The picture and your words. Just wonderful.

The Bug said...

I do believe that I need to find a forest to wander through now...

The Cranky Crone, she lives alone! said...

Absolutely perfectly put!
Im off for a nose around the pines now, bliss. (it is snowy and sunny today)

hedgewitch said...

Nature completes us, and never shown more sweetly than here, Ruth--I wonder if the reverse is true as automatically? It seems to me we must work much more actively to try to find the place where we complete Nature. Ah well, the dance is all about that, I suppose. Thanks for this lovely beginning to the morning.

Rubye Jack said...

This sort of experience is why I always prefer walking alone.

The Solitary Walker said...

Ah, I'm at once reminded of this:

'Out in the dark over the snow
The fallow fawns invisible go
With the fallow doe;
And the winds blow
Fast as the stars are slow.'

Edward Thomas 'Out in the dark'

Big snowfall again last night...

rosaria said...

Few are the moments when this happens. I have these moments now, away from the city, away from all distractions. How we reconnect with our own essence in these moments, how we stop constructing a towers of protection around us with words, gestures, rituals, clothes, stances.

We are stripped naked in these encounters and our soul breathes.

Shattered said...

What an experience! We have no woods or even many trees where I live. But your description makes we want to find some sort of nature soon.

The Broad said...

Very beautiful and so peacefully calm. Harmony with the soul of nature -- nice.

Lorna Cahall said...

Lovely...the shamanic mystery, becoming at one with nature. You've led us through. Thanks.

George said...

Yes indeed! It is we who must learn that we are not separate. Human beings reign supreme among the separatists of the universe.

This post is nicely juxtaposed against Dan's current post (A Mindful Heart) about a Buddhist monk sharing his food bowl with a tiger.

Amy @ Soul Dipper said...

I've missed reading your work, Ruth. For some reason, my RSS Feed has not been sending me notices.

I will become the doe and forage through your past posts.

Dutchbaby said...

Aaah, to become one with nature. It doesn't get better than that.

Love your photo too.

The Unknowngnome said...

Aaah yes, a do-re-mi experience.

Ruth said...

Jill, thanks!

Kathleen, hurrah!

erin, you make me happy.

Ruth said...

Auntie, thank you for the happy sigh.

Jeannette, oh my, your moments with the dancing golden eagles sounds just tremendous. I think that maybe it only takes one moment like this to transform a person's outlook, though I want it again and again.

Dana, oh yes, please.

Ruth said...

Cranky Crone, oh thank you, just a perfect response. I hope you enjoyed it.

hedge, I agree with you, and I felt it more in the writing that I did out with the deer. I think that means that thinking about it is where the difficulty lies.

Rubye Jack, I know just what you mean.

Ruth said...

Robert, oh thank you. I did not know this poem, or poet. And look how he ends it…

“How weak and little is the light,
All the universe of sight,
Love and delight,
Before the might,
If you love it not, of night.”

Happily, I do love it. Will

Ruth said...

rosaria, yes to everything you said.

Jennifer, nature restores me; please do find some soon.

The Broad, thank you for feeling this with me here.

Ruth said...

Lorna, thanks for reading and feeling.

Thank you, George. Yes, Dan's post is quite something, and perfectly timed with my deer experience.

Amy, I hope you don't have any more trouble seeing when I've posted; I would miss you coming if you didn't. Thank you so much.

Ruth said...

Dutchbaby, thanks. I have loved how close you have gotten to nature in your phenomenal travels.

Unknowngnome, :-) doe and me, I love it.

"Auntie" sezzzzzz... said...

Ohhh, the illustration is lovely. Is your grandmother's work, available on the Net? I love, love, love such work!!!

"How can a woman be expected to be happy with a man
who insists on treating her
as if she were a perfectly normal human being."

~Oscar Wilde
,-)

Helena said...

Visiting your blog is like returning to a beautiful landscape.

Christine said...

So peaceful.

ds said...

Yes.
Thank you.

Miss Jane said...

Beautiful. It made me think of Rilke a bit in the philosophy of everything becoming one, and the powerful mystery of that moment--you were drawn to that place and were brought to a greater awareness.

steven said...

ruth - this is so astonishing! i very love the moment when the not woods leaves me and the woods enters. steven

Marcie said...

What a beautiful piece about connection and grace. Inspiring!

deb colarossi said...

exactly.
this this this

Ginnie said...

The thing is, Ruth, you really are a hart! :)

Ruth said...

Auntie, thank you for your interest in Grandma Olive's work. And also, looking for it and finding my post on family art!

Helena, thank you, that is astonishingly lovely.

Thank you, Christine, I'm glad.

Ruth said...

ds, thank you.

Oh hello, Miss Jane, yes, Rilke. I hear him nearly every time I look out the window.

steven, I love you rearranging the syntax here! That's what it takes!

Ruth said...

Marcie, thanks so much. You must feel this connection and grace often, if your photos are any indication, and my response to them.

Deb, thank you thank you thank you.

Ginnie, true that! :-)

Amanda said...

yes. i know this. that moment we have face to face with nature and a transparency occurs in which we can see ourselves, for only a brief moment.

but what a luscious moment.

Reena Walkling said...

Oh yes ... to be one with nature.

Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow said...

How beautifully wrought this walk through the pines, and there is a soft tingling magic in that immense and immensely satisfying solitude of the lesson that the ending brings home: so alone and yet so connected.

Ruth said...

Amanda, I'm happy that you know these moments too.

Reena, yes, you know it, and I'm not surprised, given how much time you spend with it.

Lorenzo, thank you for reading and feeling the connection and magic, something I know you have felt often on your walks in nature in solitude.

Jeanie said...

Beautiful. Simply beautiful.