“To See a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.”
“The poetry of the earth is never dead.”
Poets from the Romantic Era used their words to immortalize the feeling of being close with nature – of finding such true beauty in the solitude of the forest or the countryside that nothing much else mattered. This was the greatest reality. Being alone, outdoors, with only the sun, the wind, the sweet smell of the earth and the chirping of the birds is medicine for a person’s spirit. It’s the beauty, the calm, the peace.
Living in northern BC, I have no shortage of opportunity to discover this reality of perfect solitude in nature. And I try to take full advantage. Afternoons like this make me feel whole again.
During this last summer, I took a camping trip to Forest Lake, slightly north of Williams Lake, and the setting was filled with such serenity and tranquility that even Keats would have been in awe. The lake was a setting of stillness where birds woke you up and crickets put you to sleep. Each morning we awoke and watched a black bear bathing on the other side of the lake and the only disruption to the glassy top of the lake was the fish jumping for their breakfast.
I took my kayak out one evening in time to watch the sunset behind my camping spot. There was so much colour and light, and all sounds, other than the gentle stirring of the lake as my paddle pushed the water, simply ceased. Pictures certainly don’t do it justice here.
I was reflecting on this day today, sitting inside looking at the greyness of the sky as winter sets in, the frost on the trees and the dullness of the leaves — all beauty in its own right — but nothing like a long bright summer day. Thank goodness for northern summers to get us through the winters. May the poetry of this sunset never be dead.