Sunday, July 17, 2016

Day 16,, and death, and the eternal cycles

"Missing people in our lives are like wounds we reopen with our thoughts." - Hunted, The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne ...and so it may be.

That is often true for me, in a life of change and loss--and finding again. But it's a normal and necessary part of life, and we get through it.

There is beauty in all the cycles of life and death; in nature, in the forest, this is especially so.  We have a plethora of these lacy leaves here, and I can't resist picking them up to study and use as prints and stencils and collage.

But still I do love that Nature will repopulate, heal, restore itself--if allowed to.  I am most blest when I can help in some small way in that process; it is a cycle that nourishes and heals me as well.

The Smallwood reclaims the ancestral forest that once covered this land--and I protect and aid it when I can, picking up litter, discouraging invasive plants, rejoicing in the burgeoning life, exploring the forest floor.

The air smells of the fertile green Earth--as well as the cycle of decay that makes possible a NEW cycle of life.  Leaves fall to earth, decompose, and become rich, life-sustaining humus.  When trees die, colonies of lichen and moss and fungus grow on their recumbent forms, breaking down the cellulose in trunk and limb.  The slow combustion of decay returns them to earth as well.

Just a few short days ago these little mushrooms looked like this...

They are among the quickest to return to the earth, with the aid of insect larva, moisture, and time...

Even the bones of deer and fish and small animals provide sustenance...I see the toothmarks of rodents searching for the minerals in the bleaching bones.  Eventually those minerals return to the soil to nourish new life.

Some indigenous cultures believe that vultures carry the souls of the dead back to Creator; huge black shadows swim through the sunlit leaf canopy as they circle above the trees, and I smile to greet my own departed loved ones.  Parents, sister, cousins, friends...I wish you peace and joy.


  1. I love those lacy leaves on your stencils. Beautiful page.

  2. Beautiful sketch!
    There are times when you can almost touch the circle of life with your soul. :)


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