I live my life in widening rings
which spread over earth and sky.
I may not ever complete the last one,
but that is what I will try.
I circle around God’s primordial tower,
and I circle ten thousand years long;
And I still don’t know if I’m a falcon,
a storm, or an unfinished song.
Rainer Maria Rilke, “Book of Hours”
I read this translation of Rilke’s poem for the first time several years ago at the memorial service for a family friend who had finally lost his battle with cancer. Along with the traditional array of photos on display, there were also several excerpts from his journals and some well-loved quotations. I was immediately taken by the imagery and sentiment of this passage and jotted it down on a little piece of scrap paper to bring home with me.
I wish that I had always made nature the focus of my life. I wish that I had always known exactly how meaningful and crucial it would be for me. But, I didn’t…
So, sometimes now I feel like I am racing to take it all in. To see and know as much as I can about… well, EVERYTHING! I am equally intrigued by all things in the natural world — rocks, clouds, water, flowers, trees, fungus, insects, mammals, birds, herps — it makes no difference to me. I find them all fascinating and equally worthy of reverence. I revel in the contemplation, study, and photographic documentation of nearly everything I come across. And for every experience that I have, for every bit of information that I glean, for every puzzle piece I place — there is always more. Every question answered leads to some new line of inquiry. The mysteries of nature never seem to diminish. Instead, they expand infinitely outward.
My journey of ever widening rings is one of joy and fufillment… I look forward to sharing parts of it with you.