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]
Robert Burns. Poet. Scottish. "Tam O'Shanter'. 1790 [caption id="attachment_171366" align="aligncenter" width="719"] Tam O'Shanter and ice-skating on Lake Menteith in Stirling. Copyright Content Catnip 2015[/caption]
When chapman billies leave the street, And drouthy neibors, neibors, meet; As market days are wearing late, And folk begin to tak the gate, While we sit bousing at the nappy, An' getting fou and unco happy, We think na on the lang Scots miles, The mosses, waters, slaps and stiles, That lie between us and our hame, Where sits our sulky, sullen dame, Gathering her brows like gathering storm, Nursing her wrath to keep it warm.
It is the time when crimson stars Weary of heaven’s cold delight, And take, like petals from a rose, Their soft and hesitating flight Upon the cool wings of the air Across the purple night.
It is the time when silver sails Go drifting down the violet sea, And every poppy’s crimson mouth Kisses to sleep a lovesick bee; The fireweed waves her rosy plumes On pasture, hill and lea.
It is the time to dream—and feel The lanquid rocking of a boat, The pushing ripple round the keel Where cool, deep-hearted lilies float, And hear thro’ wild syringas steal Some songster’s drowsy note.
It is the time, at eve, to lie And in a hammock faintly sway, To watch the golds and crimsons die Across the blue stretch of the bay; To hear the sweet dusk tiptoe by In the footsteps of the day.
Ella Rhoads Higginson, American 1862 - 1940[caption id="attachment_171740" align="aligncenter" width="1080"] The Gloaming Part 3. Wrocław, Poland Copyright Content Catnip 2016[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_168051" align="aligncenter" width="1080"] Portree Harbour, Isle of Skye Scotland. Copyright Content Catnip 2010[/caption]
The sky puts on the darkening blue coat held for it by a row of ancient trees; you watch: and the lands grow distant in your sight, one journeying to heaven, one that falls;
and leave you, not at home in either one, not quite so still and dark as the darkened houses, not calling to eternity with the passion of what becomes a star each night, and rises;
and leave you (inexpressibly to unravel) your life, with its immensity and fear, so that, now bounded, now immeasurable, it is alternately stone in you and star.
Rainer Maria Rilke, Poet, austria. 1875-1926.