God bless the ground, I shall walk softly there

Spring beauties (claytonia virginica) and wild violet  ( viola papilionacea)

Spring beauties (claytonia virginica) and wild violet (viola papilionacea)

Happy 108th Birthday to the poet Theodore Roethke! When the tiny spring flowers push up through the soggy mud and begin to bloom, I think of the words of his 1953 poem The Waking,

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 takes 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. 


You can read the full poem here

There are so many "close beside" us in this growing and blooming season. As we take time to learn which are which and who is who, we become aware of how abundantly full the earth is. I used to look into the forest and see a tangled mass of green. But by watching, each season I've become better at distinguishing individuals. I look forward to the arrival of my favorites and wish a blessing on their growing. My eyes have also sharpened on my less favored, the many over-reaching invasives that choke out the diversity, the native but voracious poison ivy that only the berry eating birds can love. 

Going forward on the blog we will be posting more about the many living beings in our area.