wendell berry + mountaintop dreams
When I was in Big Sur, we went camping up in the Santa Anna mountains. It was beautiful to wake up with the sun and walk up to the ridge and read. I brought a volume of Wendell Berry’s poetry with me, knowing there could be nothing better to bring up there amongst the clouds and shaggy mountaintops. I read these words into the great sleepy silence and was able to breathe in a way that only comes in the freedom of the sunrise.
Here is one I came across from Openings (1968).
For Gurney Norman, quoting him
The woods is shining this morning,
Red, gold and green, the leaves
lie on the ground, or fall
or hang full of light in the air still.
Perfect in its rise and in its fall, it takes
the place it has been coming to forever.
It has not hastened here, or lagged.
See how surely it has sought itself,
its roots passing lordly through the earth.
See how without confusion it is
all that it is, and how flawless
its grace is. Running or walking, the way
is the same. Be still. Be still.
“He moves your bones, and the way is clear.”
I loved it up there on the mountain, watching the day begin and end with my best friends. Our last night there, Noelle and I sat on the ridge with Sierra Nevadas, talking and enjoying the smell of the roasting peppers in our campfire. Sigh. Perfection.