Wild Like Flowers, Chapter 4: To Be A Stone
"Walk into the woodland near your home and greet the children and great-grandchildren of giants, of heroes. Some grew out of their mother’s stumps, others from the bosom of her seed."
This is Chapter 4 of my second book, Wild Like Flowers: The Restoration of Relationship Through Regeneration. You can buy the book here. Or, you can read it here.
How happy is the little stone
That rambles in the road alone,
And doesn't care about careers,
And exigencies never fears;
Whose coat of elemental brown
A passing universe put on;
And independent as the sun,
Associates or glows alone,
Fulfilling absolute decree
In casual simplicity.
I was tracking among the fallen debris that loggers in their haste and automation decreed for a chance to glimpse history past, a chance to meet a friend at last. Many impulses spur today’s humans to stumble through clear cut, excavated, or plowed landscapes. Some are looking for treasure. Others, escape. I fell in love with looking for arrowheads—or projectile points, to use the colloquial phraseology—because I fell in love with making friends. Hold a jagged yet perfectly shaped stone in your hand and close your eyes. Do you see it? That village there, striving to simply be, to feed its tomorrow, to protect its today, and to live in honor of its yesterday. History is the art of putting words in front of this image, but today you have the image itself. What you do next is up to you.
This story is not about arrowheads or that village, but another type of stone altogether. A stone with a story much deeper than any history, village, or human impulse. On top of a bluff that overlooks a great valley bottom my eyes meet a nearly circular degree of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Not a quarter mile from this spot flows the great James River, maneuvering around this elevated form like a snake around its lunch—distant enough to escape notice but close enough to know that I am trespassing. The James is unique today in a world of dams and cities and soil conservation, as it flows unimpeded from its mountain springs in the Virginia interior all the way to its grand voyage at the Atlantic. It is truly a spectacle for wonderment in a speculative age.