Wait what? A labyrinth? Near my trail?

Day 180 of Self Quarantine             Covid 19 Deaths in U.S.:  190,000

The habits of each day being another Ground Hog day make me wonder if I am sleep walking through life.  “Wake Up!” was my mantra for a while pre-pandemic when I wasn’t paying attention to the world around me.  Time to go back to waking up.

My lovely bride came back from her daily walk with pictures of a labyrinth on Hall’s Hill.  “Wait what?” I asked.

Sure enough there was a labyrinth to the left of where I ordinarily turn right on my walk.  With the surrounding gardens the labyrinth is a peaceful oasis.

I’ve been reading Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass.

“Purple and yellow are a reciprocal pair.

“Our eyes are so sensitive to these wavelengths that the cones can get oversaturated and the stimulus pours over onto the other cells. A printmaker I know showed me that if you stare for a long time at a block of yellow and then shift your gaze to a white sheet of paper, you will see it, for a moment, as violet. This phenomenon—the colored afterimage— occurs because there is energetic reciprocity between purple and yellow pigments, which goldenrod and asters knew well before we did.

“If my adviser was correct, the visual effect that so delights a human like me may be irrelevant to the flowers. The real beholder whose eye they hope to catch is a bee bent on pollination. Bees perceive many flowers differently than humans do due to their perception of additional spectra such as ultraviolet radiation. As it turns out, though, goldenrod and asters appear very similarly to bee eyes and human eyes. We both think they’re beautiful. Their striking contrast when they grow together makes them the most attractive target in the whole meadow, a beacon for bees. Growing together, both receive more pollinator visits than they would if they were growing alone. It’s a testable hypothesis; it’s a question of science, a question of art, and a question of beauty.

Kimmerer, Robin Wall. Braiding Sweetgrass . Milkweed Editions. Kindle Edition.

As I walk back home, I encounter the paired purple and yellow wild flowers:

As I continue on, I walk by a pond.  Yesterday, it was just a pond.

Today I see the pond through the eyes of Kimmerer as I read her chapter on cleaning out their pond so they can go swimming:

“Being a good mother meant fixing the pond for my kids. A highly productive food chain might be good for frogs and herons, but not for swimming. The best swimming lakes are not eutrophic, but cold, clear, and oligotrophic, or poor in nutrients. I carried my small solo canoe up to the pond to serve as a floating platform for algae removal. I envisioned scooping up the algae with a long-handled rake, filling the canoe as if it was a garbage scow, emptying it on the shore, and then going for a nice swim. But only the swimming part worked out—and it wasn’t nice. As I tried to skim the algae, I discovered that they hung like sheer green curtains through the water. If you reach far out of a light canoe and try to lift a heavy mat of algae at the end of a rake, physics dictates that swimming will occur.”

Kimmerer, Robin Wall. Braiding Sweetgrass . Milkweed Editions. Kindle Edition.

I continue on my path excited to see nature with different eyes.

As I climb a short steep section I remember to look up and see the old car abandoned in the woods.

One of these days I will make up a story of how this car ended up here.

I stop by the Black Lives Matter shrine and see another gift of beauty.

The dreariness of this repetitive walk falls away as I am energized by the beauty and caring of my fellow path walkers.  As I turn a corner on my way home, I see an old man looking at me from another tree.  I’ve walked by this tree for 20 years and never seen the “art.”

As I walk through the labyrinth of life, I am indebted to all those who add beauty to my “ground hog days.”

This entry was posted in Biodynamic, Design, Exercise, Lifelet, Wake Up!. Bookmark the permalink.

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