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Posts Tagged ‘philosophy’

Came to the park again for the seventh time in two months (or a little less). There really is much more room here to explore, spread out, walk around.  More garbage, too.

I brought a prepared offering this time: steel-cut oats, raisins, dried blueberries, a banana, barley, sunflower seed kernels, and wine:

And I placed it down in a ravine, at the base of a fallen tree. Turned around and not five feet away was the flash of white that marked more deer bones.  This time, a second skull — and in far better condition:

There were other bones there, too — in the end, about enough to make half a skeleton:

I gathered them up dutifully, accepting the gift I had been offered in return for the gift I had brought, and carried them carefully back to the car.

Then I spent the next two hours in the spring warmth, straying far from the path, picking up a great deal of garbage (three bags!)

I found more bones, as well:

There was also some startlingly beautiful fungus of a type I didn’t recognize, growing on a dead tree:

Both the bones and the fungus remind me of a quote you usually hear only at funerals: “In the midst of life, we are in death.” The bones are clear evidence of the teeming population of deer here at the park; I figure for every site I find where there are bones, there must be a dozen live deer still out there, feeding, mating, running. And fungus all feed on dead and decaying matter, whether that’s shelf fungus on a dead tree or the athlete’s foot fungus on the dead cells of a person’s foot. It’s important to observe these things: we think we might know what comes after we die, but the only way to find out for sure is to die ourselves. These little reminders are all around us, calling us to be mindful of how we spend the time allotted to us — hopefully, to spend it in the most practical and best way.

But there were plenty of signs of life, there, too — vibrant and gorgeous and bursting uncontrollably over every possible boundary in the warm spring weather. I found a stand of daffodils growing wild in one of the thickest parts of the woods:

And the first mayapples are up:

As is the skunk cabbage, thrusting up from every marshy, boggy spot in the forest:

It was a gorgeous day.

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