Tag Archive 'passage of time'

Jan 05 2023

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A Sense of Perspective

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Yesterday I walked up one of my favorite brooks in the Green Mountains. No snow and temps in the high 30s. That’s rare for this time of year. How could I resist?

I went back as far as an old campsite where the ashes of my two dogs, Jesse and Matika, are buried. I cleaned off the simple stones marking their graves and talked to them for a while. Then I looked around, telling them with a great big sigh that I’d be joining them soon enough.

This year or the next, ten years from now, twenty, or more — my day will come. It’s just a matter of time. Life doesn’t last long. Not really.

I propped a foam pad against a nearby birch overlooking the stream and jotted a few thoughts in my field journal while eating lunch. The surrounding forest was misty and still. A few dried leaves clinging to the branches of a beech sapling quaked in a barely discernible breeze. The brook full of snowmelt roared loudly as it raced downhill. I thought about the many times I’ve been in this spot, overnight or only for an hour or so like now. I quickly lost track. Too many years have gone by.

I glanced at the small overhang in a large boulder just a few feet away and resolved to spend a night under it someday, just for the hell of it. That would be wild. Then I gave that boulder a long hard look, wondering how long it has been here. Probably since the last Ice Age. And when my ashes are in the ground, along with my dogs, that boulder will still be here.

That boulder will still be here thousands of years from now. The landscape around it will change, but that boulder will remain largely unchanged until the roots of the vegetation on top of it break it down, along with the elements. That’ll take a while. I’ll be long gone by the time that boulder is dust. Hmm… While considering that, I packed up my things and walked away.

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