Walking the World: Stone Pine Mountain

The Earth is not everywhere
old. Hidden away wherever we
look are these little places where
life is just beginning anew. It is
as if the Earth prefers to sing its
song all at once, with hesitant,
vulnerable fresh sproutings
sounding together with the sure
and steady magnificence
of great age.

At the upper edge of a mature subalpine forest, where the larches and pines
take over from the Norwegian spruce, the forest canopy begins to open up with
more space between the individual trees. Here, a stone pine seedling has rooted
itself on top of a large granite rock. Just half a hand high, emerging out of but
the thinnest trace of soil covered with a small patch of moss and a scatter of fallen
pine needles, this little tree already resonates with a presence which says, "this
is my place to be."

And so, a solitary seed, perhaps dropped on this rock by a careless nutcracker,
unfolds into tree out of almost nothing, itself calling forth the matrix of energies
which will create the soil it needs for future growth. Tiny as it now is compared
to the ancient thick-stemmed, weather-beaten pines which surround it, this seedling
is wholly tree, wholly present in this movement of life. A movement which, like
the shimmering high country waterfall, is forever beginning and ending, all
at the same time, everywhere, at once.

| see also the musical companion of this piece, Score: Stone Pine Mountain (for strings and piano) |

Stone Pine Mountain is a part of Walking the World, a series of metaphysical
essays which explores the relationship between out thought or consciousness and how
we think about or perceive the natural world around us.

The setting is the European Alps, where I've had the opportunity to live for extended periods
of time since 1982, and where many of the photographs of Picture/Poems where made.
In the 18 journal-like essays of Walking the World, I'm on a long mountaineering trek
from the historic central Gotthard area of the Alps, through much of the Cristallina, on to
the Monta Rosa, the great Cervino (the Matterhorn), and then south, to Gran Paradiso.

To see a map of the watersheds of this area, go to

For the Picture/Poem Display, I've excerpted passages from Walking the World
which I thought might work together with the selected images. If you would like to read
one of the longer essays in its expanded form, go to
The Devil Stands on the other Side.

Also, you might like to look at the related the photographs and little
WOODCUT thought-poem,
DAM. from a series called WOODCUTS.

(Photo: Mountain Spring Water, the Alps)
| go to Picture/Poems: Central Display | PicturePage: Week IV | see also another Walking the World essay, Backpack Pilgrim |
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© 1999 - 2002 Cliff Crego  All Rights Reserved  
IV.7.1999; Last update: III.4.2002)
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