Gully Walk

And so, after some days chasing language or responding to it, it seems right to go in search of water, especially a brook with its line of expression that shapes slowly what the land will say. Not far from my door, there is such a brook, and, even as the map says that the brook goes, finally, nowhere – it has no marked outlet and seems simply to go back to ground – it is expressive, shaping a little gully that is often rife with tracks. Always the muddy spots show passage of my big-footed brethren, but clearly, deer and foxes and coyotes and skunks and raccoons follow this way of water too. Though the gully is only around 20 feet deep, it has the feel of, it is, a secret little world only a few hundred feet from the trimmed lawns and still-lively gardens of our neighborhood.

On these fall days, it is also a collector of colors, so many that a listing would exhaust both writer and reader; they lie in contrast to the dark mud, and they float in lines or patchy quilts over the thin water, which both catches and reflects. And where the current holds sway, the tan sands show through and the sky reflects on itself. So much visual action that words are chased away, and I wonder, as I often do, at the painters who can catch the glimmerings of such a show; theirs is a talent I admire.

But no more words: here’s news from the gully, a few prints along the way of the day.

The way there

The way there

 

Water-face

Water-face

 

Flow

Flow

 

Collection

Collection

 

Trees aspire

Trees aspire

 

Grounded

Grounded

2 Comments

Filed under Arts, Environment, General, Living Deliberately, Nature, The Roost

2 Responses to Gully Walk

  1. Thanks, Ashley. I’m pleased that the writer’s retreat helped you through a block, and that you came away from it feeling inspired. Where we are can surely affect who we are. The gully from this story is in Brunswick, Maine, a state with a strong tie to Thoreau, but at some distance from the birth house and the pond not far away. At other times, the waters I write of and from are those of Walden.

    Your comment about feeling at home in Concord, even as you were whisked away in infancy calls to mind Thoreau’s comment at beginning of the Bean Field chapter of Walden: “When I was four years old, as I well remember, I was brought from Boston to this my native town, through these very woods and this field, to the pond. It is one of the oldest scenes stamped on my memory.”

    To me that reads very much like imprinting; interpreting the biological phenomenon liberally, I take it mean that what we see and experience first remains powerful for us, a sort of parent-vision in our lives.

    best,
    Sandy

  2. I absolutely LOVE this particular entry, as I went to the Thoreau Farm writer’s retreat on October 7th as a birthday present I had long waited for. I knew for my 30th, that is where I wanted to be more than anything. I was born in Concord, my mother was in the Air Force, so I was swiftly whisked away from Concord at infancy but that somehow never broke the connection I have always had to “home” as I used to call it as a child and still to this day.

    Well, after the most peaceful writings I’ve had in a long time at The Writer’s Retreat, a spark I had been longing for in my writings ignited, I felt love and inspiration again – I can truly say a block I had had was bulldozed upon penning my thoughts in such an environment. When I was finished with about 30 or so pages in my journal I had this inkling to go walk and search for water – I did not find any but then again I didn’t walk too terribly far. However, curious where this lovely gully is, nearby the farm? Either way, what a beauty. Life is truly magical.

    With love,
    Ashley Nicole York