HANNA'S WALK

Armies of light

I came across wonderful poetry by Daniel March written in 1869 and found it to be a religious text. That is not my reason for quoting the poetry, but because the description reminds me of the overwhelming joy it is, to walk in nature. When the clouds cast their shadows over hills and rivers, mountains and lakes in an ever-changing game.
The poetry of nature.

Clouds are among the most striking appearances in the natural world. Whether heralding the dawn with beacons of flame and banners of gold, or escorting the sun’s descending car with armies of light and sapphire thrones; whether clothing the mountains with garments of beauty, or enriching the landscape with flying shadows; whether shading the weary from the noonday heat, refreshing the field and the garden with gentle showers, or shaking the earth with mighty thunders; whether moving in silent and solitary grandeur along the blue deep of the sky, or covering the whole heavens with black and jagged masses, torn by the tempest and hurled onward like charging hosts in the shock of battle,—glorious in the morning, grateful at noonday, prophetic of the dawn at evening, clouds lend a charm to every landscape, a diversity to every season and a lesson to every thoughtful mind. No earthly scene could attract us long if deprived of light and shade from the changing clouds, and with our present feelings we should find it hard to be satisfied with heaven itself if it be one unvaried, cloudless noon. ~Daniel March, “The Balancings of the Clouds,” Our Father’s House, or the Unwritten Word, 1869

Soon the time is approaching

This morning the air is fresh and sweet. Fruits and berries are maturing and a soft breeze carries a wonderful scent and the promise of a favourable harvest. Time is now approaching for happy walks.

None of your knowledge, your reading, your connections will be of any use here: two legs suffice, and big eyes to see with. Walk alone, across mountains or through forests. You are nobody to the hills or the thick boughs heavy with greenery. You are no longer a role, or a status, not even an individual, but a body, a body that feels sharp stones on the paths, the caress of long grass and the freshness of the wind. When you walk, the world has neither present nor future: nothing but the cycle of mornings and evenings. Always the same thing to do all day: walk. But the walker who marvels while walking (the blue of the rocks in a July evening light, the silvery green of olive leaves at noon, the violet morning hills) has no past, no plans, no experience. He has within him the eternal child. While walking I am but a simple gaze.

Frédéric Gros, A philosophy of walking

A Glorious Walk

Forest and Stream! I love to trace
Your inmost depths, your watery race;
I love your dense, primeval shade,
O forest monarch! to invade.
I love, O grand, majestic Stream!
To wander where your ripples gleam,
To plunge beneath your ice-cold breast;
To seek the wild-fowl that infest
Your wooded shores; to spread the sail
In gusty breeze or howling gale;
To take the springing trout that skim
Your face, or in abysses swim;
In storm, in calm, in shade, in shine,
My heart, my steps to thee incline.
No haunts of earth so fair I deem
As Forest-side and banks of Stream!

Isaac McLellan

The Hour of Death

Leaves have their time to fall,
And flowers to wither at the north-wind’s breath,
And stars to set; but all,
Thou hast all seasons for thine own, O Death!
John Milton

Belief in our mortality, the sense that we are eventually going to crack up and be extinguished like the flame of a candle, I say, is a gloriously fine thing. It makes us sober; it makes us a little sad; and many of us it makes poetic. But above all, it makes it possible for us to make up our mind and arrange to live sensibly, truthfully and always with a sense of our own limitations. It gives us peace also, because true peace of mind comes from accepting the worst.
Deprived of immortality, the proposition of living becomes a simple proposition. It is this: that we human beings have a limited span of life to live on this earth, rarely more than seventy years, and that therefore we have to arrange our lives so that we may live as happily as we can under a given set of circumstances. … It made us therefore, cling to life─the life of the instinct and the life of senses─on the belief that, as we are all animals, we can be truly happy only when all our normal instincts are satisfied normally. This applies to the enjoyment of life in all its aspects.
A sad poetic touch is added to this intense love of life by the realization that this life we have is essentially mortal. For if this earthly existence is all we have, we must try the harder to enjoy it while it lasts. A vague hope of immortality detracts from our wholehearted enjoyment of this earthly existence.
Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living.

This was a great afternoon walk on Femsølyng a part of Rude Skov.
We didn’t catch the car before the thunder broke loose. Afterwards there was torrential rain.
What about the cows? Do they seek shelter under the trees and expose themselves to lightning?
Well, there wasn’t enough space in the car!

I always think of Johan Thomas Lundbye’s paintings of cows and landscape. This is a Study sheet from 1844 by Lundbye.

Johan Thomas Lundbye (1818-1848), Studieblad fra Vognserup. Studier af koeer og af to faarehoveder samt af staaende malkepige og en roegter, 1844-09-02


A Poem is a walk

These grazing meadows are in the middle of a large wooded area.
It is an inexhaustible source of different walks.
The landscape has repeatedly been exposed to different influences of ice age, leaving a highly hilly landscape according to Danish standards. Hurray for diversity ❤

With the first step, the number of shapes the walk might take is infinite, but then the walk begins to define itself as it goes along, though freedom remains total with each step: any tempting side road can be turned into an impulse, or any wild patch of woods can be explored. The pattern of the walk is to come true, is to be recognized, discovered.
A.R. Ammons

Naturvandring.blog

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