Archive for September 27th, 2011


Cheri and I were walking yesterday afternoon on a dirt road near us.  The road goes down steeply into a ravine then back up, passing through fields.  On one side there is a large field, probably 70-80 acres in size, that is no longer worked by any farmer and has become full of chest high goldenrod, now all out in  yellow splendor.  This field of goldenrod rises to our left as we climb and all you can see at the top of the ridge beyond the field are the perfectly round crowns of maple and other hardwood trees.  Above it all is a deep blue autumn sky with beautiful full clouds rising at  the bottom of our sight  of it. 

It’s quite an idyllic scene.  Tranquil. It seems as though it is a place existing in different times at once and as we walk, I can’t help wonder how someone walking up that road two hundred years ago would have felt.  Would their experience of that moment and place been any different than mine?  Have all the changes in the world over that time altered the way in which I or anyone of our time react to this moment?  Have we really changed at all since someone might have first walked up that road centuries ago?

I try to put myself into the mind of someone from that past time doing just that, try to think of things that may have been bearing on their mind at that time.  Someone at that time walking up such a road was probably a farmer of some sort.  Probably thoughts of the labors that must be finished before the harshness of winter set in preoccupied their thinking-the crops that must be harvested and safely secured, the wood for heating their home that must be cut, etc.  All the things that allowed their survival against the cold and hunger of winter.

My thoughts are a bit different, less concerned with survival and sometimes about things well beyond my own personal world.  I suppose my world has allowed me more time to think on things outside the immediate necessities of pure sustenance.  But I wonder, in that moment when I look up over the goldenrod and see those blue skies, if  we don’t share at least that same sense of awe at the beauty of the moment?  In that moment, would his thoughts of the immediate labors before him dissolve in the same way as my thoughts of things far removed did as I looked on?

Perhaps, beyond our trappings, we remain unchanged.  I would like to think so, at least in matters of awe and wonder.

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