Places of Power, Places of Heart

On Mt. Tamalpais

The Springs Eternal Hike
The fifth in a series of ceremonial hikes

Saturday, September 10th
9:30 AM - 3:30 PM
The Springs Eternal Hike
Contact Steve to register.

Beneath thick winter clouds, the frail sun dozes, breathing only faintly.
A little dazed yourself, itís hard to begrudge its pale distance.
The mist speckles your glasses
And you can taste the half-hearted rain coming on glacial air.
The season has turned melancholy
With the inevitable death of the old,
The casual nonchalance of friends,
The solid indifference of events
Shouldering past you like cold stones rolling downhill.
The frivolous air comes up, smoothes your skin with the backs of its fingers,
And goes away.

Stand still in the woods, and listen:
Shaggy green rocks hum with the flow of springs.
Let the loamy vapor fill your skull,
Dissolve all the bone
And leave behind only the scent of wet earth.
Let a single blade of fern undulate in almost still air
To wave away the shadows curling under the tall trees.
Let the dark fugue of spring water
Fill in that space like black iron bells.

The spring flows even in dry years.
Mushrooms press back a cap of breaking soil
To surge slowly up and open their brown gills,
Breaching like tiny whales filtering krill.
The woodpecker relentlessly finds the hollow part of the deadwood.
And your feet still pound, almost unbidden,
Down the trail to the lake,
Even though the return climb will be breathless and steep,
And your heart will pound with a quiet outrage.

Redwood says:
Gather sun.
Shelter your seedlings.
The earth feeds you.

Hawk says:
Spread feathers in sunlight and air.
Stay fierce in your eye.
Foster your eggs.

From somewhere deep and untraceable,
The spring flows, even in dry years.

Stephen Orsary
Dec. 21, 2009