The Quiet Opening


The quiet opening
between fence strands
perhaps eighteen inches.

Antlers to hind hooves,
four feet off the ground,
the deer poured through.

No tuft of the coarse white belly hair left behind.

I don’t know how a stag turns
into a stream, an arc of water.
I have never felt such accurate envy.

Not of the deer:

To be that porous, to have such largeness pass through me.

– Jane Hirshfield

 When we take the time to be in nature we learn to see from Nature. At this particular time in the lifespan of our species, which was the very last to arrive among the family of creatures, we can benefit from taking a step back and discovering how they’ve walked lightly on the land and swim without harming the water. When will we wake up and begin learning from our wisest elders?  

There are few poets I adore more than Jane Hirshfield. Not only are her words a magical gift, she is also a beautiful human being. I met her at a Upaya workshop in Santa Fe a few years ago and was taken back by the quality of her teachings – she is a life-long Zen practitioner. 

Photo Credits:  The Quiet Opening by Susan J. Preston, Yosemite National Park © 2019, all rights reserved
Technical: Fuji XT-2 | Forthcoming