Wild Like Flowers, Chapter 9: To Be A Relationship
"It is impossible to look back over the steady flow of life without a certain fondness for a time when life seemed to stop and to stand still."
This is Chapter 9 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.
and the sands in the glass
for a pure white moment
while gravity sprinkled upward
like rain, rising.
…it’s one of those magical places wise people
like to talk about.
one of the things they say about it, that is true,
is that, once you’ve been there,
you’re there forever.
It is impossible to look back over the steady flow of life without a certain fondness for a time when life seemed to stop and to stand still. Life may be levity and it may be motion but the magic of life is that, on occasion, it tends to be motionless. The abeyance of life’s flutter is often quieter than quietness in isolation. It is peace when you have known only war, and the resulting quietude produced by the absence of life’s racket leaves your ears ringing. This story is about stillness and strength and magic and rain; it is about rising to hear the still movements of relationships.
At this point in this small book, I hope it is clear that we do not really know what we are doing. Our focus is on being instead of doing, and our life is fixated on fostering the abundant animacy of all those around us—families, stones, calves, and weeds—but how this gets done is questionable. That is, we question the subject but do not subjugate those in question. Cattle make the best cattle, weeds are the best at being weeds—I’ve tried, but it is very hard to stand there and cast beauty for all and for none to see—and we accept this fully. Perhaps our lack of control breeds a relationship based in intimacy with our place, trumping any knowledge of animal husbandry. What does herding cattle have to do with asking them to move? All you have to do is ask.
Under the August sun, Morgan and I were doing something we do not like to do. The herd was in the loading corral near the barn and we were attempting to separate one bull out of it. The trailer was in place and all we had to do was simply move one hundred bovines from one side of the corral to the other, leaving Padraig on this side, alone. Our clothes soaked and the sun high overhead, we were failing miserably. Padraig—or Paddy—was the herd’s lead, and they followed him wherever he went. But today, we needed him to stay and the herd to move on. No one budged.