Erode

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The eroded pathway

The stones that were part of my entry path have migrated. Recent downpours swept them up in watery torrents  and washed them away to colonise adjacent garden beds, exposing an underbelly of pipes and edgings and leaving deep runnels beside the stepping stones. Patient shovelling and plucking them one by one from amongst exposed roots of plants has restored some order but not so for the soil; that has disappeared forever down storm-water drains. It will have to be replenished along with mulch. No-one could ever say gardening isn’t challenging.
On my Saturday morning walk through the beach side Tarrabora reserve, I saw more evidence of the recent deluge on the landscape. Debris everywhere, roots lying tangled and exposed, deep channels carved from sandy banks by volumes of water rushing back to its lowest level, its source.
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Erosion at Tarrabora reserve

I try to walk mindfully. Observing how Nature leaves her mark on the landscape inspires my thinking. There are so many ways to read her stories. So many ways to perceive the messages she leaves.
Erosion usually refers to landscape under the assault of natural elements.  It’s defined variously as wearing away, abrasion, scraping away, grinding down, crumbling, wear and tear, weathering, dissolving, dissolution. Sometimes with confronting and disastrous results.
Opening a door into mindfulness can be equally confronting. Sometimes introspection is not gentle. Sometimes I feel as eroded as the landscape I pass through. The ageing process, while a natural one, at times frustrates me and makes me ‘rage against the dying of the light’.
I see life writ large on human beings. Marks left by life’s elements: the emotional runnels, the wrinkles, the wear and tear. The scars visible and invisible, are carved into the human body, the human psyche.Thickened gnarly cords of experience and emerging wisdom are there for those who choose to read them.
We can deny them in pursuit of elusive youth. Maybe a nip and tuck here and there? I heard of someone recently who has resorted to these means. An eye lift anyone? While I wouldn’t sit in judgement of those who resort to cosmetic measures, I find life bewildering enough without actually looking perpetually surprised.

But who are we kidding? Hiding the evidence doesn’t erase what life has enscribed on each of us.

And frankly, I wouldn’t want it to.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas, 1914 – 1953

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46 responses to “Erode

  1. I’m afraid the wear and tear does get increasingly visible on us. The effect is not always a negative one, though. Sometimes faces soften and become more pleasant with age. I can think of a number of friends for whom this is true.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The title photo – that shows up in WordPress Reader but not on this page – shows the beauty of strong, well-anchored roots, exposed by the wearing of time and weather. I’m sure there’s a positive metaphor in there somewhere! Thanks for a thought provoking post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I knew you meant Thomas here. And you’re right too. I think his advice on how to die is interesting although I don’t entirely agree with his view of things. I think I write the best poetry when it’s driven by angst. Certainly that’s the case for Thomas here. It’s a howl of futility for something he can’t change. There are so many conversations I didn’t have with my dad but wish now I could have. I often wonder what he’d think of the way life has gone since he passed. You have set me on a path of nostalgia Clare ☺️

      Liked by 1 person

      • I seem to be on the same path tonight, Robyn. Although I’m tired, I can’t sleep. I have some things I’d like to write about, but they are really too heavy and I would prefer to do a lighter blog post. Lately, I find I’m humorless and I’m afraid it is reflecting in everything I put on paper (computer screen, actually). I really hope this all passes, but I’m not optimistic. There’s this pall which seems to have settled over everything here in the US and I fear we are headed for hard times. I hope I’m wrong.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Understandable. We are reaching election fatigue in this country. Next Saturday they will put us out of our misery (or dump us into more!). Yours has been a much longer process and so disheartening. I really can see your disappointment and wonder how on earth the likes of Trump ever got this far. I think he wonders that too. I feel for Europe in their turmoil. The whole Brexit thing is destabilising to say the least. It’s enough to send any caring person into spiralling decline. Interesting times we live in.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I was skyping with a friend from Spain and they held elections for the second time today. They now have 4 instead of 2 parties and the members of the 4 parties cannot come to agreement on a leader. The leader must have 179 members behind him to run the country and this is the second election they are holding to try to accomplish setting up the government. The problem revolves around the fact that no one wants to make concessions. Much of the problems in all of our countries is that large corporations have taken over and the middle class has been depleted over time. too much money in only a few hands. Isn’t that the way the Russian and French Revolutions started?

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      • Oh my goodness! That’s a frightening thought. But you’re right. Instability is very scary. Interesting to hear of Spain’s dilemmas too. I know other EU countries are watching Brexit with interest. I wonder if Spain is one?

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      • Yes, particularly Catalonia which , along with the Basque Country, have wanted to declare independence from Spain for some time. (Much along the lines of Scotland’s attempt at seceding from the UK.) This move could be the start of other secessions. We shall see.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Technology should factor in those human glitches and let us change it! It’s happened to me before too. The darn comment takes off like a racing pigeon but doesn’t return for adjustments!

      Like

    • We rejoice!
      After we have said rude words and kicked whatever is close enough to be kicked! Because I think it’s only by having challenges that can we truly appreciate the triumphs and the wonderful times

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Mary Ann. I began my garden in March 2013. As you can see by my photos in the early posts, it was almost a blank canvas. It remains an enjoyable work in progress. Thanks for visiting.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Annually, when do you plant the garden? We can’t plant much before the end of May in Upstate NY. When I lived in Virginia, I could plant on Feb. 1 and still have tomatoes and pepper on Dec. 1. It was a long season in Virginia. Our collard greens survive frost and snow, and we can harvest and enjoy them into Dec. Flower and herbs don’t survive the winters here.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I can plant all year round here. We are subtropical. It’s winter and I have tomatoes fruiting already. I will still plant in Spring because they grow faster then but there are fewer pests and diseases at this time of the year.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Indeed the zones do. In the South, I recall so many lush flowering trees and when I flew to Central NY, I could already see from the plane that the gardens were just beginning to bloom. We had other challenges in Colorado with a lack of water at times. I love our zinnias because of the color and I and cut them often for bouquets in the house. My niece has many orchid varieties. http://rosedevi.blogspot.com/

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s interesting having the opportunity to garden in different zones. How quickly the exotic becomes the familiar mundane. You mention zinnias. I remember my mother growing them. Such jewel colours! The main thing is create a garden, whatever form it takes where you are.

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  3. When I was young we lived on the beachfront and during a large cyclone the ocean scraped away 25 metres of sand, removing the frontal dune and leaving us wondering if our house was next. It wasn’t. Over the years, the eroded dunes recovered. Then they left again and recovered. I see nature’s cycles of ebb and flow mirrored in human lives. And I find that reassuring. Each age has its gold to gather amongst the ebb and flow.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I couldn’t agree more Gail. And you express it so eloquently. There is so much in nature which offers up explanations, schemas for thinking about life.
      That was a huge amount of foreshore to lose so close to your childhood home. As you’re aware, so many did lose their homes during the most recent extreme weather event. I’m grateful we weren’t among them.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. These shots are absolutely stunning.
    And the lines..the reads that come along with them.. i enjoy them from start to end. Scintillating ! – Cezane

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A beautiful poem that.
    The entry itself in the post is soothening.. nature and us.. the connection .. portrayed here in a sublime manner. – Cezane

    Liked by 1 person

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