On a dark night, Kindled in love with yearnings–oh, happy chance!– I went forth without being observed, My house being now at rest.
In darkness and secure, By the secret ladder, disguised–oh, happy chance!– In darkness and in concealment, My house being now at rest.
In the happy night, In secret, when none saw me, Nor I beheld aught, Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart.
This light guided me More surely than the light of noonday To the place where he (well I knew who!) was awaiting me– A place where none appeared.
Oh, night that guided me, Oh, night more lovely than the dawn, Oh, night that joined Beloved with lover, Lover transformed in the Beloved!
Upon my flowery breast, Kept wholly for himself alone, There he stayed sleeping, and I caressed him, And the fanning of the cedars made a breeze.
The breeze blew from the turret As I parted his locks; With his gentle hand he wounded my neck And caused all my senses to be suspended.
I remained, lost in oblivion; My face I reclined on the Beloved. All ceased and I abandoned myself, Leaving my cares forgotten among the lilies.
St John of the Cross, Christian Mystic and Poet. Spain. 16th Century[caption id="attachment_171744" align="aligncenter" width="1080"] Vespers, Ostrów Tumski, Wroclaw Poland. Copyright Content Catnip 2016[/caption]
"How long does it take to make the woods? As long as it takes to make the world. It is always finished, it is always being made, the act of its making forever greater than the act of its destruction." (Wendell Berry, from A Timbered Choir, 1999)[caption id="attachment_176964" align="aligncenter" width="1080"] Travel: Hiking in Ireland Copyright Content Catnip 2010[/caption] [caption id="attachment_176732" align="aligncenter" width="1061"] Mineral deposits on all of the trees provide an eerie and story book quality to the surrounding shrubs. Copyright, Content Catnip 2017.[/caption]