On and Over the Hills

"Go as far as you can see; when you get there you'll be able to see farther." ~ Thomas Carlyle

A Sustaining Autumn Rain

Only when it rains can I walk silently through the cluttered rooms of the forest. The moss has taken up the drink and swelled to a soft and pliant carpet underfoot, spongy and cloud-like where it is deep.

Even twigs, having been rejected and tossed by their mother tree, lying in wait for molds and insects to change their purpose to mother-nourishment, release some of their tension, relaxing to absorb a little of my weight, bending into moss and needle-and-leaf-litter, an imagined creak the only wooden exhalation.

Hours of soft but steady drizzle have permeated the ancient layers of the forest, impregnating dormant and living tissue alike. Pores on those aging and age-spotted leaves that still cling to their mother tree open in a last effort toward immortality. Lichens are washed clean, suffused and sustained as they absorb many times their weight.

Centuries-old heartwood is permeated.  Waning energy still succumbs to osmotic pressure as dry leaves moisten like crisp air absorbing the deluge. Animate roots of pine, spruce, poplar and alder gulp the seepage, drinking resilience against the coming frosts.

Carried through the canopy on protean droplets, cinerescent light drapes the trees, the sagging shrubs, the forbs and the moss like a linen sheet, heavy, finely woven, but sultry and translucent in its soddenness.

Dissolving into an ethereal canvas of gossamer as it touches the forest floor, it illuminates the facets of fallen leaves, sparkling between their intricate networks of veins and refracting the light in all the colours of precious gemstones – emerald, amber, amethyst, citrine, opal, sapphire and diamond.

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22 comments on “A Sustaining Autumn Rain

  1. Jim Rook
    October 19, 2012

    Inspiring Cindy. With drizzle the past 3 days and a little rain, I believe it is time for a walk in the woods here as well.

    • Cindy Kilpatrick
      October 21, 2012

      Thank you, Jim. I’ll be popping over to see what you might have found.

  2. Jo Ann
    October 19, 2012

    Very pretty prose. Glad your part of the world got a thorough watering.

    • Cindy Kilpatrick
      October 21, 2012

      It’s always a relief when we get some good rain in the fall, to know that the ground will not be so tinder dry during spring fire season. Thank you for your generous thoughts, Jo Ann.

  3. Bob Zeller
    October 19, 2012

    Ah, the Cindy that I have been waiting for. Your photos are wonderful, but if your camera ever breaks, you have a stunning way of ‘painting’ the pictures with your way with words. I love this. 🙂

    • Cindy Kilpatrick
      October 21, 2012

      Oh, Bob – you always make me feel so good. Thank you so much.

  4. Martina Studio67
    October 19, 2012

    I love the rain, I actually had my camera taking photos and it rained on me again. I love your colorful images showing what the rain can do.

    • Cindy Kilpatrick
      October 21, 2012

      Rain can be a great time to take pictures if you can protect your camera, can’t it? Thank you for your compliment, Martina, it’s great to see you here.

  5. Red
    October 19, 2012

    Very descriptive as I can almost smell and feel the forest. A spiritual post. with great photos to go along with it.

    • Cindy Kilpatrick
      October 21, 2012

      Thank you very much, Red. ‘Spiritual’ describes how I feel about being out in the bush very well. I’m pleased that you ‘felt’ the experience I so wanted to share.

  6. Your Sis
    October 19, 2012

    Cindy, there’s a reason why you are the ‘middle child’. You see through eyes that the rest of us will never understand. Your world is so beautiful and you will forever inspire me to look for the beautiful.

    • Cindy Kilpatrick
      October 21, 2012

      Wow, Nancy – that makes up for all the early childhood bruises…just kidding. 🙂 Thanks so much, but I think we all grew up with a strong sense of appreciation for the natural world, of the awe and affection Mum & Dad felt for the mountains and the lake…even if you and they are not inclined to be as effusively verbal (and snap-happy) about it as I tend to be.

  7. Roxana
    October 20, 2012

    Really loving rainy weather in the forest, it is like all your senses are being gifted with miracles. Wonderful story and love the photos. We are still having a dry autumn so far. Missing a little rain. 🙂

    • Cindy Kilpatrick
      October 21, 2012

      “Senses being gifted with miracles” is just how it feels, I’m delighted that you relate, Roxana. Thank you for your thoughtful comment and I hope you get some long, soft rain very soon.

  8. janechese
    October 20, 2012

    Love the saturation on a wet day, especially with a couple of bright leaves to pop out from the rest.

    • Cindy Kilpatrick
      October 21, 2012

      There is nothing like moisture to swell the “pigment molecules”! The bright leaves were a bonus as there aren’t that many plants here that mature to red. Thank you for stopping in, Jane.

  9. julianhoffman
    November 4, 2012

    It’s my turn to arrive late at a post, and the wait has been well worth it. I loved this tour of the wet forest floor, all the moisture leaching into things that will thrive again next spring. I can imagine the feel of the layered leaves beneath your feet, the rich silence of rain. Lovely post, Cindy. Thank you…

    • Cindy Kilpatrick
      November 5, 2012

      It’s funny thing with rain, that it can be so enjoyable when it first comes but can overstay its welcome and leave you craving the sunshine. Or it can come at odd times, like yesterday when it rained on top of the snow – very strange. I always appreciate your stopping by with your thoughtful comments whenever you can make it, Julian. Thank you and be well.

  10. Kia and Zeno
    November 21, 2012

    What a lovely post. Your photos are always lovely, plus you write so well! Thanks for taking us along with you. 🙂

    • Cindy Kilpatrick
      November 24, 2012

      You are so welcome! And thank you for your very generous compliments.

  11. shoreacres
    November 30, 2012

    You had me at “protean”. There’s nothing like finding the perfect word tucked into a paragraph like one perfect leaf amid the nibbled and scarred.

    My first response was rain envy. We’re in the midst of serious drought again, and people truly are worried. All I want for Christmas is rain.

    Beyond that, your photos and words are beautiful. The entire post is a wondrous example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. The photos alone, or the words alone, would have been enough. Combined, they make your experience live again.

    • Cindy Kilpatrick
      December 1, 2012

      I too love finding the perfect word, Linda. I love words but unfortunately have terrible instant recall, so writing takes me forever as I blunder through resources looking for that perfect word that I know I know but just can’t seem to locate when I need it.

      I’ve read about the drought in Texas – many people upset with those who waste precious water on unnecessary things like lawns, etc. and those that are blithely optimistic that if it never does rain, someone will get some water from somewhere. Water has never been an issue here but I am aware how impossible it would be to live without it. I wish you a soft, steady, long rain for Christmas.

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment and your compliments. I appreciate your stopping by.

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This entry was posted on October 19, 2012 by in The Journey and tagged , , , , , , .
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