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Remember: In the beginnings of Winter: Cedar Beach

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

In the beginnings of Winter: Cedar Beach

After assembling yesterday's Riparian retrospective, and in the hopes of seeing a visiting bald eagle, I made my way down to Cedar Beach Parkway for a walk on an oddly warm December afternoon. Here, at the end of autumn and in expectation of the coming winter, I meandered in the brown and gray remains of the once boldly green vegetation of summer.

The evidence of recent rains and subsequent floods was easily visible in the pools of standing icy water, the squish of mud under my boots, and the flattened expanse of dead plants.

Despite expecting nothing but barrenness, I turned out to have companions during my visit who I seemed to severely startle. I don't think they were expecting anyone either.

Bob Dylan wrote about the seasons in his book Chronicles and he said that without the cold he would never appreciate the warm which is why he never had any desire to live near to the equator. I think of that often during my frequent bouts of complaining in the summertime during times of high heat and humidity. Yesterday, in the expanse of the sleeping buffer I was reminded of it again.

Not because of the weather, but because the apparent death around my feet was not death at all. It is just part of the process. The contrast between the height of growth in July and now is remarkable. The park would appear to be two different places but there is deep and lasting beauty in both.

The plants will return and with them, insects, animals, birds, fish and whatever other organism claims its niche in the ecosystem. I too will join them and I look forward to stumbling around in the cold creek water on a hot afternoon between the thick walls of lushness that trap you into natural experience.

Until then, I visit to make a vigil. I go to see the sleep of the season to be able to understand better the incredible cycles and systems of wildness. On these grayest, short, cold days; it may be that the best opportunity exists to steep the senses in nature. These are the days of waiting, but the processes being carried out through decomposition, almost invisibly make what we wait for possible.

Nutrients are being stockpiled. The soil is recharging. The energy of summer's explosion is building in the quiet repose of early winter. It's awesome.

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6 Comments:

Blogger dan said...

You might be interested in this I am going up tomorrow to "feel it's vibes" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sacred_Oak

December 15, 2009 at 2:48 PM  
Anonymous Bobo said...

I saw two eagles several times from the Robinhood area of the Parkway. Both times I got a real good close up look that lasted for over 15 minutes. Absolutely totally fantastic!!!!!!

December 15, 2009 at 3:46 PM  
Blogger Andrew Kleiner said...

Dan, that sounds pretty awesome.

Bobo, I am incredibly jealous! If the weather cooperates I will be attempting again tomorrow.

December 15, 2009 at 4:40 PM  
Blogger Andrew Kleiner said...

Dan, its also nice to see you leave a comment.

December 15, 2009 at 4:43 PM  
Blogger dan said...

http://www.greenways.com/allentown_download.html
this also floated into my email today
which reminded me to look up the date for the next meeting which is Jan 13 place TBA

Also whats your take on Cliff Lee/Roy Halladay deal? If it goes through I have threatened to power bomb Ruben Amaro, Jr through a desk.

December 15, 2009 at 11:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrew, absolutely beautiful, thank you

December 16, 2009 at 2:35 AM  

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