Friday, April 03, 2009

Beauty is in the eye...

Oh, Cold Springs...if you've followed this blog, you'll have heard about it before. It is one of those places that is verdant and shining, fragrant and whispering. It is a place out of time, where your skin feels kissed by the sunshine and refreshed by the flowing, cold as ice water. There is knee high grasses in the summer through meadow-like passes, and a sweet-smelling bark, twittering birds and croaking frogs. Tiny green grass spiders like to sit on my knee while I sketch and soak it all in.
My kids could make magic with an empty box and a rock, so coming here is like being in another world where you expect to see Peter Pan peeking around a corner. I feel full of wonder and alive and rested when I am there, just as my babies do. There is lots of stick-boat races and damming up sections and jumping and splashing and poking pine needles down mouse holes, and listening for red-wing blackbirds, and catching frogs and hiding behind trees and below the grasses.
This is one kind of beauty...

here is another kind.

Between the evergreens, and over a ridge, you'll find a sea of lava.
If you've never seen these kinds of lava rock, they are full of holes and will scratch you the instant you touch them, but they are soft (as far as rocks go), and they weather well. They round and they can actually become something nice in your hand. Most of these rocks are still sharp as a tack, and it is a joke to say, "Ooh, a good place for a kindergarten field trip." when we see these lava beds...could you imagine all the skinned-up knees? YET, there is a beauty all it's desolation, and destruction it brought to the land. In it's dark bleakness, lack of green, and absent of bird song, there is a quiet-kind of beauty.
At one point, some people got together (I hope they wore gloves) and stacked those lava rocks, creating a castle tower in the middle of it all. It is cleverly constructed windows pointing to the different mountains and ridges, with names etched on a plaque so you can identify each of them...But I don't imagine a geological study here...
I see Rapunzel staring out of one of the windows, wondering when she'll be rescued.
I imagine her desolation and her hope and her hair. I imagine the wind flailing through the open windows and when the snow comes, how it drifts inside her tower. How she freezes in the winter, and still hopes each Spring that this year will be the year she is rescued.
There is a beauty here...but more of a storytale kind of beauty...the kind you feel poignant about, but hope resolves itself in the end.
Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder...
I am sitting in the bruising rock castle, waiting for the warmth of Summer to transform the swath of bleakness into my bubbling creek, my grasses and twisting aliveness and rest.
But, as Kahlil Gibran says,
"The deeper that sorrow carves into your being,
the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?"
I know this..
I KNOW this...
& I am finding comfort in that, as I sit in the tower.


Laura said...

Dear Katie,

The beauty of your heart is that you see and feel so deeply. But it's diffiecult when you are walking through those bleak seasons of life because you feel it even more deeply. But they are ‘seasons’ and just like nature’s seasons they have an ending and a beginning--of new life. And each new season brings hope--my prayer for you.

Hugs to you,

Katie said...

Thank you my friend - you always say such nice things :) and true. love, Katie