05 August 2018

Highway of Diamonds

Pressure and heat under the earth’s crust are not the sole arbiter of gemstones. They can be seen on the surface of the sea. The ripples, the argentine scintillations as wind caresses the water. Diamonds are there for the taking, if we so choose. Still, there is no setting nearly as grand as that which is out there in nature. Beauty is in the beholding, not in the possession. Road trip the water and see.

In a harbor alive with boats one would not expect too many water bound intersections with nature, given the noise and crowding into the realm below the surface. While not expecting to walk across the water on the backs of teeming schools of fish, a sighting of fish or crab would still be appreciated. Patience is key. One’s legs may dangle over the water, but sit still. Breathe slowly. Keep your eyes on the surface. Sometimes, if the timing is right and fortune on the breeze fish breach the surface right where you look. Is that kismet? Sheer luck? Unknowable, but good fortune nonetheless.

What is the market value of the cry of an osprey, circling over the estuary, pirouetting with its mate? No one knows, and no one should ever try putting a number on such a gift. To hear it is to be enriched beyond the pale of crass commerce. Putting it in the prison of a bank would do the same thing to the soul. If you hear it, stop. Pay attention. Give thanks. Consider the wealth bestowed upon you. The account of your being will be far into the black.

Non-monotonous regularity is one of the most prominent attractions of the water. Surf, rapids, the tides. Their arrival can be predicted, their aspects cannot. At least not with narrow specificity to any individual manifestation. There will be waves, there will be ripples, no two exactly alike. The ebb and flow of them as a grand generator of serenity and connection to primordial forces without which humans would not exist. This is the fractal metronome setting the rhythm of existence.

Let us not forget the raspy music of crows in all this. Consider the murder swirling around the church steeple, birds in raucous congress as they perch on the weather vane. The inky feathers against an incipient storm sky may seem ominous to casual observance. But if the mind can hold still long enough to contemplate the ciphers formed by the fluttering of ebony, it will see that rain and crows are simply nature unfolding as it should. If crows have a reputation as harbingers of doom it is fair to say that is only because they have a curiosity about and are thereby drawn to the activities of mankind. It is fair to say that men are far more responsible for murder and mayhem than are those fine specimens of the corvid masses.

Consider the pilings along the water’s edge. Turned timber soaked in creosote or some other delayer of decay. At the tide line can be spotted barnacles or sometimes mussels. Ducks weave in and out amongst the industrial thicket of wood. They seem to enjoy the interplay of light, shadow, and water as they fulfill their duck nature. Here too we await the good luck, the grace of glimpsing Callinectes sapidus, the “beautiful savory swimmer” humans call the blue crab. A deserved reputation as delicious eating, but also fascinating and lovely swimmers. Occasionally they take it upon themselves to venture forth from the estuary bottom and bestow upon us the brief spectacle of their underwater aerobatics. If you do see such a thing, remember to bow your head in humble thanks.

Earth tangos with the Moon. The energy of that dance translates to the tides that burnish the shore. You will know this when you walk along its edge, breathing the scent of saltwater and pluff mud. No noisome vehicle is needed to make this trip. What is needed is a present mind and open heart, willing to take the gift of creation laid out before them. All you have seen and heard will reveal that to you, as the sunlight on the water makes clear. Life on this highway of diamonds is not measured in carats mined, it is measured in gratitude expressed.

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"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...