a Day for the Earth

Literature in praise of nature and our embeddedness in it.

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We sit in the middle of it all, surrounded by everything at once.

Our fire casts a circle of light around us, broken and split by shadows. These forms dance across the uneven surface of the forest, leaping from tree to tree in a mad game of chase.

Moths flit about our heads, drawn to the light of the flames and distracted from their journey to the moon. There are cast in shades of red and orange and yellow, their white bodies and wings a blank canvas for the fire’s brush.

The forest, though it encompasses us in stark darkness, lies close to the ocean, bound by beaches on two sides. Through the trees we hear the crash of the tides, falling upon smooth rocks and drawing them back to the sea. The stones tumble, laughing with the water as a match of tug-of-war is played. Their laughs are joined by the songs of whales, mournful and low, eerie through the forest. They sound sad: but that is only because we don’t know how to listen to them. Finally, the crackle of the fire adds an irregular staccato to nature’s symphony, ignorant of the maestro’s measure.

It is in this darkness, enrobed in sound, that I feel most close to nature. I close my eyes to further the effect, blocking out all the images but still detecting the play of the fire’s light across my eyelids, an abstract light puppet show.

The whales’ call reverberates through me, more potent than the bass of any drum line. It fills me, relaxes me, and then leaves me empty and longing for more.

But the whales have gone, slipping through the ocean currents, leaving the beach and forest behind.

My eyes open once more, the puppet show ended and signifying the dying of the fire. It burns as mere embers, though they burn with the same intensity as the flames before them. With the cessation of the light, the moths have taken leave of our circle, pin wheeling upwards into the sky, aiming their frail bodies to lunar fantasies.

I follow them with my eyes, my mind, my heart. I dance with them, bringing myself closer and closer to the reaches of the sky, to the crescent of moon above us.

A final note from a lingering whale sends my spirits soaring: that last boost needed to plant me with my prize.

I sit with the moths on the moon, eyes caught on the blue-green world beneath me.

//Please read the Author Guidance before posting.//

The End

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