At the Shrine of Beauty

“Sometimes I go about in pity for myself, and all the while, a great wind carries me across the sky.” -Ojibwe saying

At times she felt only half part of this world. Like she could walk right out of it if she wasn’t flesh and blood. That she was walking the middle path of two worlds intersecting.

I don’t go for a lot of walks in the sunlight these days. Instead, I wander outside at dusk, when it’s almost dark, and the first few stars are already out. I wander along those snow filled fields and trace out the beaten path as best as I can. I want silence and the whispers of the distant mountains. I try to listen and hear the voice of this new place, this new country I’ve moved to. Sometimes I want the sky to grow wild and raging so I can hear it better. It’s more difficult to hear things when a place has already been touched by many voices, many feet, when the cars are always driving by, filling the evening with noise and smoke. But I think I need to connect with this place, make it a friend. Not long for those misty forests of my previous home.

I knelt in the snow yesterday when I was sure no one was watching, or could even see me in the darkness. I sat and lifted my hands to the gray sky. I’m not sure why this helps, but it does. I long to actually touch things, connect with the world around me. Somehow it calms me. The trees growing along that path are too far away, or they stand behind fences and wire, but the ground is always there, so I knelt down on that instead. I breathed and prayed without words. Kneeling like that I felt closer to something I can’t name. But it’s there. I felt it even as a child, sitting outside in the evening, watching the sun set behind the mountains. I’m always reaching for it, been holding out my hands to it as long as I can remember. Do you feel something like that too?

I recently finished reading the books about Emily of New Moon. The descriptions of nature always touch me, makes me dream of beauty, and of a simpler time of more quiet, more trees. Less smog. I’ve shared a moment from the books below. Isn’t it lovely?

*

Then came the northern lights–drifts of pale fire over the sky–spears of light, as of empyrean armies–pale, elusive hosts retreating and advancing. Emily lay and watched them in rapture. Her soul was washed pure in that great bath of splendour. She was a high priestess of loveliness assisting at the divine rites of her worship–and she knew her goddess smiled.

She was glad Ilse was asleep. Any human companionship, even the dearest and most perfect, would have been alien to her then. She was sufficient unto herself, needing not love nor comradeship nor any human emotion to round out her felicity. Such moments come rarely in any life, but when they do come they are inexpressibly wonderful–as if the finite were for a second infinity–as if humanity were for a space uplifted into divinity–as if all ugliness had vanished, leaving only flawless beauty. Oh–beauty–Emily shivered with the pure ecstasy of it. She loved it–it filled her being to-night as never before. She was afraid to move or breathe lest she break the current of beauty that was flowing through her. Life seemed like a wonderful instrument on which to play supernal harmonies.

“Oh, God, make me worthy of it–oh, make me worthy of it,” she prayed. Could she ever be worthy of such a message–could she dare try to carry some of the loveliness of that “dialogue divine” back to the everyday world of sordid market-place and clamorous street? She must give it–she could not keep it to herself. Would the world listen–understand–feel? Only if she were faithful to the trust and gave out that which was committed to her, careless of blame or praise. High priestess of beauty–yes, she would serve at no other shrine!

Lucy Maud Montgomery – Emily Climbs

*

There is a lovely light coming through the window now. Winter light. The sky is white and grayish blue behind the trees. And the church bells are ringing. They ring a lot here, and I like listening to them. I enjoy waking up to them at 7 in the morning. Wishing you a beautiful rest of the week. 

*

I just went for a walk in the witch light (is that something? Just felt like the right description) Past gray misty mountains and trees. I saw a fox trotting towards me in the snow, in the almost dark, next to a small stream. I watched him for a bit. He kept coming closer, and I moved a little so he would notice me. He ran away after that. I felt a bit disappointed in myself. Why do I always feel afraid? 

The other day, in the bright sunlight, a mouse scurried across my path. He didn’t see me either and I stood and watched him gnaw through small twigs and even some ice. Perhaps he was thirsty. I like little moments like that. 

This evening I even heard an owl calling from one of the trees. It made me happy. It’s one of my favorite, most haunting sounds, an owl calling in the night. 

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on Pinterest

Related posts:

First Frost
Forest Magic
Ocean Waves

3 Comments on At the Shrine of Beauty

  1. sarah
    January 25, 2017 at 5:03 pm (7 months ago)

    This is really beautiful. Dusk is my favourite time of the day. I hope you find a friendship with your new land and that it turns out to be kindred spirit after all.
    sarah recently posted…one woman’s private march into the stormMy Profile

    Reply
    • Anne Linn
      January 25, 2017 at 5:57 pm (7 months ago)

      Yes, sometimes the day is just too bright, and I long for dusk. And thank you for that beautiful wish. Thank you for commenting, it means a lot.

      Reply
  2. Laura
    January 30, 2017 at 5:32 pm (7 months ago)

    I don’t like the bright sunlight either. It hurts my eyes, is too strong and revealing somehow. I like subtle things, the dusk, the dawn, a candle in a container where you can’t quite see the flame, just the soft, flickering amber light (the last one was from a comment from my husband – he didn’t like the container because he couldn’t see the flame. And all the time I’ve heard my friends being so happy about the continuous bright warm sunlight. Interesting to find sometimes we aren’t like others in some ways that we didn’t imagine.)

    The quote you shared is quite amazing. Thank you. The author must have been a very special person to feel and describe these things.

    I’ve resisted connecting with the place I’m in too. Somehow it doesn’t feel mine, or that the locals want me here. Not sure why I think that.

    I love that you lift your hands to the sky, in the dark 🙂 I can imagine you like that. It’s nice how in movement you’ve found expression for this longing for divinity, or whatever it is for you. Yes I feel it too but I don’t think I really know how to express it, or how to act upon it. Perhaps I haven’t tried hard enough yet.
    Laura recently posted…On Being a WifeMy Profile

    Reply

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge