Promiscuous Company

Henry David Thoreau once complained of “promiscuous company,” those that trumped and chattered their way through woods intent on a social yuk-yuk and riparian entertainments and for some people nature is just for that. But not for us.

Like Thoreau and for generations of silent seekers, the silence of the woods is not the absence of noise but the presence of birdsong and the sweet music of turtles just ahead of our canoe, a sanctifying promiscuity that makes holy the walker (and her feet) and the earth and waters beneath, the sacred act of paddling devotions making every ripple a pondish chant. Frogs and flying dragon rattles. Spiders on duckweed a fingerling wiggle below. Solstice looking back at you.

Let summer have her say. Hold your tongue and she will speak through you. Then throw a blanket and have some pondy tea.

Jack Phillips