Refuge: Water Guardian

Refuge: Water Guardian:

I am watching pale ochre decaying leaves drifting to the ground, even as others shiver with dew. The air is fragrant. After all the rain it cleared last night and temperatures plunged. It is the first day of September and it is so cool that I am wearing a sweater…. Last night, dusk shadowed the forest protecting all the wild creatures that began to stir as darkness approached. Red deer munched on golden apples beneath my open window. Just beyond her I could still see my wild apple … only upper branches, leaves, and apples touch the sky as the first evening star appears. Leaf predation has been extreme this year with fruit trees everywhere; I worry that I will lose her. This little cabin, forest and field is an island in a sea of clear cuts, piles of now well hidden slash (thanks to miracle trees), open fields, and manicured lawns. Only one neighbor logs his land sustainably …thankfully this well cared for parcel borders my own.

I drift back to the Turning of the Wheel (from July to August) and a perfect day spent on a forest pond so well hidden that only a chance encounter might reveal the presence of this jewel. With only the slightest breeze the boat slides into glassy water; water so pristine I can see all the way to the bottom. Still water mirrors deep blue sky. I spy a giant bull frog with a brilliant buttercup throat. He’s peering at us through bulging gold-rimmed eyes as we paddle into deeper water.

Now frogs appear to be watching us from every protected nook at the edge of the pond! Oval lily pads float on silver mica, their stems creating intricate patterns. Fish swim by. Lifting my gaze to take in my surroundings forest greens craft their own horizon by painting delicate branches and evergreen spires on the surface of the water. A painted turtle is sunning himself on a floating log.

 The rich fragrance of deep forest permeates the air. A protruding cliff hangs over one side of the pond creating a permanent shadow. A guardian made of stone.

Two loons appear nearby, swimming around us before they dive again for food. I am listening to the sound of the paddle dipping into pristine waters as I begin to lose all sense of time. I gasp in wonder as we enter a sea of blue pickerel weed. Surrounded by cobalt blue and emerald green, leaves and flowers, a multitude of bees humming as they work the blossoms I am enchanted by impossible beauty before all thought ceases. My body becomes part of all there is – blue sky and water, bees and loons, all singing the same song. 


Our Love for Earth stops Time…

As we approach the shore I spy the most astonishing wooden log. Once submerged, the hemlock has become a stunning piece of Nature’s art. Now it stands as sentry marking the entrance of Refuge as Guardian of the Waters, and each time I pass by I remember that magical summer day.

5 thoughts on “Refuge: Water Guardian

  1. Dear Sarah, I’ve been trying to find a way to contact you since I read your post on feminism & religion about the apple tree, Red Deer and her fawn. I did comment there, but I have a poem about apples and deer I’d love to share with you. It seemed incredibly rude and self-serving to be posting my work on your space (on F&R or here) but I can’t find a website for you or a way to contact you personally. I’ve enjoyed your posts so much – the interplay between this impersonal technology and the feeling of the feelings of friendship and affection the disembodied words provoke is so odd. I keep think of those long-lasting Victorian era friendships and love affairs that went on for years by snail mail. Did you know that Emily Dickinson , considered a recluse in most bios kept up correspondences with about eighty people from around the world. Anyway, I am subscribing to your blog so you will have my email Please let me know if you’d like a look at my poem “Apples at Midnight.”


    1. Of course I would like to see your poem and yes, of course I did know about Emily who is a muse of mine – it’s really hard and frustrating to make personal contact because of the problem of giving out email… will contact you


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