Friday, July 25, 2008
How Peaceful the Scene
How peaceful the scene: sheep quietly grazing with their bonny lambs. I could have sat there all day, feeling at one with nature and with myself. I could have written poetic verse about peace and trust, revelling in the freedom of all the clutter of daily living. Yes, verses to inspire those willing to share in that joyous solitude. But it would have been fake, mere words; springing from the heart maybe, but with my mind closed to the reality of nature in the raw.
At home, our garden has been visited by a young rabbit, calling to eat the clover growing in the mottled lawn. We have had white doves gracing our garden too. Birds of all varieties have sung to us in the morning and charmed us with their antics around the bird table. A week or so ago we had another visitor, this time a ravaging member of the hawk family. The rabbit was found with its head cracked and its eyes missing, a fantailed pigeon with its head torn off. I thought of those gentle lambs and of the predators that enjoy pecking out their eyes.
This is the world we live in: gentleness and beauty living alongside the ugliness of pain and horror. Even within ourselves we bear an entailed shadow of ugliness that at times is hard to suppress. We see, only too clearly, those who give that shadow freedom to terrorise and maim, but we either camouflage or refuse to recognise what is within ourselves.
Yes, it was good to sit there at peace with nature and myself. For I am part of the natural order — that which is both sunlight and shadow — and learning to live within this dichotomy.