04/13/2015 Orchestra

ORCHESTRA

Three songbirds rest in a tree, overlooking Hopkins as the rain clouds sweep overhead.
The robin perches itself in regal posture while two chickadees skamper.
In the distance swims a trio of geese singing their verses of nature.
Raindrops dance gaily on the surface of Hopkins, filling its pool to nourish its inhabitants.
Can life be so simple?
I open my senses into this phenomena, allowing its energy to empower my own. 

Oh to never have witnessed the beauty of Hopkins.
I journey here often for leisure but have never opened my senses to absorb its beauty.
It's early April as I pen this entry. The Michigan grounds have thawed and the traveling foul have returned home.
Their songs liven our days. The cold has past and nature awakens once more.
Oh how it slept.
The trees have yet to sprout leaves, they turn bright green in the evening mists.
They will awake soon.

Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.
— Henry David Thoreau

Hopkins offers solitude amidst the noisy city.
Yes, there are distant growls of cars passing but they fade away as the songbirds sing.
I excite to the notion of the tree frogs singing their songs as the sunsets.
Twenty minutes, maybe thirty. I rejoice.

The mighty overseer draws the shades to the innocent eye.
It is within every life form, and lies dormant in most.
How they would rejoice to converse with it.
It remains in darkness as in light. It says "Give unto me the truth, for I can decipher nothing else."
The songbirds sing this truth, as does man. But what do we see?
Do our thoughts cloud the overseer's vision? Does it close the shades awaiting truth?
Or is it always there? When the eyes draw shut and we forget all thought, it draws the shades open and truth flows in.
Why would we ever shut him out? For he shows us the beauty within each breath, within each song, within each chirp, within each croak, within each growl, within each trill.

The sun sits upon the horizon, vanquishing day and returning to rest.
The tree frogs now sing along with the songbirds, creating a melody that even Bach couldn't capture.
The decrescendo of the dusk offers a beautiful stillness and wondrous tension.
The geese echo the baritone while the chickadee sings the chorus.
As the sun breaks ground these trees come to life in a glorious crescendo which could resolve in the crashing of cymbals!
Majestically they sing.

Who has witnessed this orchestra? Do others allow the overseer the sight of the falling sun?
Does the professor spend a moment by Hopkins to absorb its knowledge?
Does the shop owner listen to its tune after a hard days work?
Did the Chippewa of many centuries past behold its grace? Why must its tune remain uncaptured by many, though it lies within a mile from many homes? 

To most this would be no sacred spot. It's simply a place to eat lunch, catch fish, or exercise the family pet, not sacred ground.
To me it has become sacred, as do all grounds I walk. As the overseer peers through the shades and witnesses all truth as it occurs, I find sacred ground.

The evening grows dim as the song mellows into a sweet, soft bouquet of sound.
I breath the sweet air, my lungs expand, and I sense the soft flavors of the trees and rippled waters.
It is time for my retreat as I hear the melodies say their farewell. I travel now, senses alive, and shades opened. 

-Steve Lockhart