Morning Trip (119)

“As far back as I can remember, things seen or heard or smelled, things tasted or touched, have provoked in me an answering vibration. The stimulus might be the sheen of moonlight on the needles of a white pine, or the iridescent glimmer on a dragonfly’s tail, or the lean silhouette of a ladder-back chair, or the glaze on a hand-thrown pot. It might be bird song or a Bach cantata or the purl of water over stone. It might be a line of poetry, the outline of a cheek, the arch of a ceiling, the savor of bread, the sway of a bough or a bow. The provocation might be as grand as a mountain sunrise or as humble as an icicle’s jeweled tip, yet in each case a familiar surge of gratitude and wonder wells up in me.

Now and again some voice raised on the stairs leading to my study, some passage of music, some noise from the street, will stir a sympathetic thrum from the strings of the guitar that tilts against the wall behind my door. Just so, over and over again, impulses from the world stir a responsive chord in me — not just any chord, but a particular one, combining notes of elegance, exhilaration, simplicity, and awe.”

— Scott Russell Sanders, Hunting for Hope

Morning Trip (116)

“Walking, ideally, is a state in which the mind, the body, and the world are finally in conversation together, three notes suddenly making a chord. Walking allows us to be in our bodies and in the world without being made busy by them. It leaves us free to think without being wholly lost in our thoughts.”
–Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust A History of Walking

Morning Trip (97)

“A man is walking in a field
and everywhere at his feet
in the short grass of April
the small purple violets
are in bloom. As the man walks
the ground drops away,
the sunlight of day becomes
a sort of darkness in which
the lights of the flowers rise
up around him like
fireflies or stars in a sort
of sky through which he walks.”
– Wendell Berry, IV Leavings

Morning Trip (72)

    “The Waking


I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light take the Tree; but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me; so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady, I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.”
–Theodore Roethke

Morning Trip (61)

62. [Autumn]1
The yellow forest lies beneath the sun
Quiet, although it suffereth decay
The brooklet to the Ocean-deep does run
With gentle lapse and silent(2) melts away,
The clouds upon the evening sky are bright
But wasting mingle in the glorious light.

So, may my soul in life’s declining hours
Like the still forest never once complain:
And flow unmurmuring, adown its course
Like yonder brooklet to the Eternal Main;
And as the clouds upon the sunset sky
Be mingled with the radiance on high.

–Thomas Cole

1. untitled manuscript,
2. silent/softly”

(My own note. This same poem, punctuated differently, carries a date of 1842. The date is gleened from sequence in his writing books. There is no indication how far apart autumn 1 and autumn 2 are in work nor in writing, by the editor, Marshall B. Tymn.)