I’m going to remember this.

It all started with Thursday’s post, Lightly Child, Lightly. Where Cole Arthur Riley writes: “Have you ever stood in the presence of a tree and listened to the wind pass through its leaves? The roots and body stand defiant and unmoved. But listen. The branches stretch out their tongues and whisper shhhhh. Trees make symphonies without their trunks ever moving, almost as if the stillness of their centers amplifies their sound.” 

This post triggered a number of comments.

Beth, a school teacher, teaches me what that sound is: “I so love it too and there is a word for it: psithurism. These sounds of wind in the trees and the rustling of leaves have enchanted so many people over time that they invented a word to describe them: psithurism. Like many words that begin with “ps,” the “p” at the beginning of psithurism is silent, and the word is pronounced sith-err-iz-um.

Lori, follows by sharing: “I, too, am mesmerized by this sound (and now know what to call it…thank you, Beth!) This passage brought to mind Suzanne Simard’s book, ‘Finding the Mother Tree.’ So much happening below the surface

Mimi then shares: “The symphony of sound from the trees, sounds that change with the type of leaf that is singing – another gift from Mother Nature. The differences can be subtle, and demand your attention if you’re fortunate enough to stop and listen. Beth taught us both something today – never heard of the word, and I love the way it sounds – its pronunciation is perfect for its definition!”

Caitlin, here next door in NY State, furthers my education.  “My favorite sound — wind through pine trees — happy memories of Northern Ontario summer camp…The verb for the sound is soughing.”  I had to google it. A Verb: soughing (of the wind in trees, the sea, etc.) make a moaning, whistling, or rushing sound. ‘the soughing of the wind in the canopy of branches’.

Kevin, in Concord, CA, “likes sitting under an overhang and listening to rain (and wind) hitting the various leaves in my back garden. We also have a hammock for sitting between trees and watching the leaves rustle in the wind.”

Doug’s favorite soothing sound “is the sound of water in a stream burbling over rocks” and he wonders “if there is a specific word for that sound, too.”

Anneli has “stood under black cottonwoods in Montana and made a little video of the leaves whispering very loudly as the wind passed through the trees. A memorable experience.

Dale, once again, dropping 10-letter words requiring me to wear a dictionary on my hip to decipher: “I often stand amongst the trees and love the sound. Psithurism from marcescent leaves, particularly. Those leaves, usually oak, that remain on the trees in the winter have a particular sound.”

And for me, I’m with all of you.  Wind through the trees, branches, leaves. Listening to rain. Sitting in hammocks. Stream burbling over rocks.

And yet, there’s one other sound of notable mention. [Read more…]

Lightly Child, Lightly

I have a favorite sound.

To be precise, it’s not a singular sound but a multitude.

Have you ever stood in the presence of a tree and listened to the wind pass through its leaves? The roots and body stand defiant and unmoved. But listen. The branches stretch out their tongues and whisper shhhhh.

Trees make symphonies without their trunks ever moving, almost as if the stillness of their centers amplifies their sound. The tree may appear still, but if you look closer, you’ll see that each leaf flails with breath. The tree may seem alone, but plow deep and you’ll unearth its secret gnarled roots—the grotesque and the beautiful—creeping in the soil, reaching toward the ancestors.

Thomas Merton said, “No writing on the solitary, meditative dimensions of life can say anything that has not already been said better by the wind in the pine trees.” I hold this close.


Notes:

  • Photo:  DK @ Daybreak 6:54 am August 29, 2021.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

Saturday Morning

Other times when I hear the wind blow

I feel that just hearing the wind blow makes it worth being born.

—  Fernando Pessoa, The Collected Poems of Alberto Caeiro

 


Notes: Photo – DK @ Cove Island Park.  Poem: Thank you The Vale of Soul Making

Lightly Child, Lightly

What is it
about this twilight hour?
Even the sound
of a barely perceptible breeze
pierces the heart.

Izumi Shikibu, (976 A.D. – 1030) from The Ink Dark Moon: Love Poems

 


Notes:

  • Photo: DK – Moon @ Daybreak. 7:10 a.m. Wednesday, October 31, 2021. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT.
  • Quote via Memory’s Landscape
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

Lightly Child, Lightly.

Summer breeze.
larger imgur link
source


Notes:

  • Photo: 4K Field With Wind, Swallows.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

Winter solitude – in a world of one color. The sound of wind.


Notes:

Lightly Child, Lightly

The wind is careless—

uncertain—

I like the wind—

it seems more like me than anything else—

I like the way it blows things around—roughly—even meanly—

then the next minute seems to love everything—some days is amazingly quiet.

—  Georgia O’Keeffe, in a letter to Alfred Stieglitz on October 1, 1917 in: ”My Faraway One. Selected Letters of Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz. Volume 1, 1915–1933

 


Notes:

Sunday Morning

[She] says Remember, you’re writing these poems for god.
I’m about to ask her what type of poems god likes
when the wind picks up, sending a flood of small, round leaves down the street. Got it, I say.

—  Chessy Normile, from “There Was a Forest of Pines I Loved for Years,” The American Poetry Review (vo. 49, no. 6, November/December 2020)

 


Notes: Poem Source – Memory’s Landscape. Photo: DK, Cove Island Park, Nov 12, 2020, 6:45 a.m.

Something about the waves, those that lift us, those that wipe us out.


This morning. Cove Island Park: Empty, but for DK and gulls.  55° F.  Rain. Blustery, with wind gusts up to 32 mph. Cloud Cover: 98%.   Post Title from: The Great Offshore Grounds: A Novel by Vanessa Veselka.

Lightly Child, Lightly

Time seems to pass. The world happens, unrolling into moments, and you stop to glance at a spider pressed to its web. There is a quickness of light and a sense of things outlined precisely and streaks of running luster on the bay. You know more surely who you are on a strong bright day after a storm when the smallest falling leaf is stabbed with self-awareness. The wind makes a sound in the pines and the world comes into being, irreversibly, and the spider rides the wind-swayed web.

– Don DeLillo, The Body Artist: A Novel


Notes:

  • Quote: Thank you Whiskey River. Photo: Arend Ruizendaal with World Wide Web
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

Saturday Morning

So, when it’s bad now,
when I can’t remember what’s lost
and all I have for the world to take
means nothing,
I go out back of the greenhouse
at the far end of my land
where the grasses go wild
and the arroyos come up
with cat’s-claw and giant dahlias,
where the children of my neighbors
consult with the wise heads
of sunflowers, huge against the sky,
where the rivers of weather
and the charred ghosts of old melodies
converge to flood my land
and sustain the one thicket
of memory that calls for me
to come and sit
among the tall canes
and shape full-throated songs
out of wind, out of bamboo,
out of a voice
that only whispers.

— Garrett Hongo, from ‘Something Whispered in the Shakuhachi’


Notes: Quote, thank you Beth @ Alive on All Channels. Photo of bamboo by Elisa.

Hi Ho, Hi Ho. Off to Work We Go.

May you hear in your own stories
the moan of wind around the corners
of half-forgotten houses
and the silence in rooms you remember…

May you study your craft as you would study
a new friend or a long time, much loved lover.
And all the while, lost though you may be in the forest,
drop your own words on the path like pebbles
and write your way home.

– Pat Schneider, from “Blessing for a Writer” in “How the Light Gets In: Writing as a Spiritual Practice” 


Source: Thank you Whiskey River. Photo: Anka Zhuravleva.  Inspired: “This is what poetry is: not a kind of public posturing but a private language of music and imagery that is strange and compelling enough that it can speak privately to thousands of people at the same time.” ~ Ilya Kaminsky, from “Still Dancing: An Interview With Ilya Kaminsky” by Garth Greenwell, March/April 2019 (Feb 13, 2019)

Read: Dear Edward

Just before lunch service, Veronica takes a short break in the front corner of the cabin, next to the kitchen… Wind is what she misses most, up in the sky. The airplane air isn’t as bad as passengers say it is; she never likes when people spout opinions without bothering to gather the facts first. Airplanes take about 50 percent of the air collected in the outtake valves of the passenger compartment and mix it with fresh air from outside. The air is then passed through filters to be sterilized before it’s introduced to the passengers. So the air on the plane is clean, and not worthy of complaint, but still, Veronica can taste the effort in it. Every time she leaves an airport, she appreciates the unpredictability of each inhale. There might be a soft gust of wind, or the smell of popcorn, or the heaviness that precedes a rainstorm. She notices nuances in the air that everyone else is immune to, with the exception of submariners, probably, and astronauts. People for whom the earth is not enough; their freedom is off the ground. Veronica enjoys the unbridled nature of the outside world in small doses, but this is her home. She is the fullest version of herself at thirty thousand feet.

~ Ann Napolitano, Dear Edward: A Novel (The Dial Press, January 6, 2020)

Highly Recommended.


Notes:

Sunday Morning

People often ask me how Buddhists answer the question: ‘Does God exist?’ The other day I was walking along the river. The wind was blowing. Suddenly I thought, Oh! The air really exists. We know that the air is there, but unless the wind blows against our face, we are not aware of it. Here in the wind I was suddenly aware, yes it’s really there. And the sun too. I was suddenly aware of the sun, shining through the bare trees. Its warmth, its brightness, and all this completely free, completely gratuitous. Simply there for us to enjoy. And without my knowing it, completely spontaneously, my two hands came together, and I realized that I was making a deep bow. And it occurred to me that this is all that matters: that we can bow, take a deep bow. Just that. Just that.

~Rev. Eido Tai Shimano, Disciplines for Christian Living: Interfaith Perspectives by Thomas P. Ryan (Paulist Press, 1993)


Quote Source:

I hear nothing, only feel a slight breeze.

An owl’s feathers are silent in flight because individual barbs zipper shut so no air can rush through like the sound of desert wind. Each time I find a feather, I brush its webbing like velvet against my cheek. Sometimes, I close my eyes and fan the air by my ear. I hear nothing, only feel a slight breeze.

~ Terry Tempest Williams, Erosion: Essays of Undoing (October 8, 2019)


Photo: Burrowing Owl by Kevin Juberg (via Voice of Nature)

Saturday Morning

breathe

and the way the smallest animals breathe
burrowed into the hills.
(her) ribs
expand a little,
her soft lungs fill
partially, she feels the world
come in softly
as she inhales a breeze.

~ Amanda Beth Peery, from “A Poem About Breathing


Notes: Poem via 3 Quarks Daily. Photo: Lydia Trappenberg with Breathe

Flying Delta 2-Stop. With the Wind.

That’s Lake Superior in Marquette, Michigan.

Susan dropped me off at the airport yesterday, I was heading home. She was spending a few more days with her Mom. That’s her shot with an iPhone a few minutes later. This scene. This moment. That you can capture this, with a handheld device and text message it seconds later. Miracle, all of it.

I paused after posting this.  Any words after this, would seem to pollute the magnificence of the shot, and her moment.

But I plod on. Briefly.

I look upward at the tall snow banks. The dirty snow.  26° F.  The cold wind gusts. The Upper Peninsula in Northern Michigan, in March, is winter anywhere else.

The car ride to the airport, was not unlike the car ride in. Quiet. Heavy. No RTP greeting at the airport, or at home. No beefy hug around his thick torso. His absence was a Weight. He’s Gone.

I drive the town.

And I See.

What he gave to this town, this college.  His influence on standing up the Superior Dome, the world’s largest wooden structure of its kind.  Or the Berry Events Center. Or the U.S. Olympic Education Center. His dreams realized. His name, not on the structures, but we know, these towering structures know, how they were born and who gave them birth. They now sit stoically, quietly, in Memoriam.

His solitary drives around Presque Isle Park. His favorite restaurant. His Friday afternoon watering hole where he’d sit having a cocktail at the bar. His seat now sits empty.

Yet, he is present, ever present, like a twist on the old Teton Sioux proverb,

He is now history in this town like wind through buffalo grass. 

 


Inspired by Robert Creeley: Will we speak to each other making the grass bend as if a wind were before us, will our way be as graceful, as substantial as the movement of something moving so gently. We break things into pieces like walls we break ourselves into hearing them fall just to hear it.

Saturday Morning

For the sake of cleansing seconds
stare at something still.
Free from feeling filled
hum the sound of the sun descending
sitting in its final ribbons.
Watch what leaves shake
in the unseen breeze.
Feel your own fingers.

Let time be soil for time.
Let hunger set in

~ Sean Kearny, “Be Bored” from Press 1  (Fall 2014)

 


Notes: Poem from 3quarksdaily.com. Photo credit to JP Benante

Driving I-95 North. In March, with Summer Breeze.

Yesterday evening. 6:55 p.m. Still at the office.  I shut down my PC, grab the loose papers from my desk and toss them into my brief case. I throw on my coat and step into the hallway. It’s quiet, still. No phones ringing. No printers running. No overhead hum, the HVAC is shut down. Everyone has gone home. The building rests.

I walk to the garage. It’s been a Long week. Unexpected (and serious) issues flare up, soaking up the free oxygen. Yet, you like that don’t you? Good to be needed. Great to be needed. DK, what did you want to be when you grew up? A Firefighter, of course. Superman-DK running into burning buildings, his Cape flapping behind him, carrying out Babies. Like that, sort of, of the Suit Kind.

I’m in the car. Temperature read-out is 49° F. I’m on the tail end of rush hour. Traffic is flowing. Roads are dry. Spring, come, Now.

I slide the window down. The cool wind washes over my face, a light anesthetic, and the moment spins back passages from Sarah McColl’s “Joy Enough“, my new book in flight.

“I felt it first as a space, like a window thrown open and then a breeze through the bedroom.”

And then Sarah rises again:

“There was a breeze that day, and my hair was gathered into a ponytail, I could feel the air move at the nape of my neck.

And then Sarah one more time:

There were no cars on the road, and the hem of my skirt fluttered at my knees in the humid breeze.

And with this, the weight of the week lifts, the tightness in my shoulders and neck releases, and Bliss rises.

With one eye on the road and the other on my iPhone, I flick down my Favorites playlist, turn the volume up, and then one more extra turn, and hit play.  Summer Breeze by Seals & Crofts.

See the curtains hangin’ in the window, in the evenin’ on a Friday night
A little light a-shinin’ through the window, lets me know everything is alright
Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind
Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind


Notes: Other quotes by Sarah McColl in Joy Enough: A Memoir.”  Photo via Of Figs and Roses

Saturday Morning

A little tap at the window, as though some missile had struck it, followed by a plentiful, falling sound, as light, though, as if a shower of sand were being sprinkled from a window overhead; then the fall spread, took on an order, a rhythm, became liquid, loud, drumming, musical, innumerable, universal. It was the rain.

Marcel Proust, Remembrance of Things Past


Photo: David Salter with rain

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