Sanctuary

sanctuary

a summer rain blows in

during the heat of day
and i seek shelter
beneath the canopy of a bald cypress
waiting for the rain to abate,
i examine the trunk
from where it rises
out of the ground
to where it terminates
against a sky of gray
as straight as an arrow,
dressed in shaggy brown bark,
its many thick limbs
branch off
into slender branchlets
with fine rows
of short needle like leaves
staring up into this green canopy,
having forgotten the rain,
i realize
i am completely lost…
in a sanctuary
on a different day
 
i find a snail shell
and study the spiral design…
i am lost in thought
with how the shell is formed…
from the onset, as a soft tiny mass
increasing in size as the snail consumes calcium and grows,
the shell growing as well,
in bursts,
like the rings of a tree…
i marvel at the spiral shape…
a constantly recurring symbol
in the natural world
that speaks of beginnings
and continuations
not ends
i find that i am lost again…
that nature is my sanctuary…
on a different day 
 
a fallen feather catches my eye…
and i am instantly fascinated
with the intricate network
of barbs and barbules,
knitted together
to serve a specific purpose…
i imagine the tiny bird
whose feather i hold in my hand,
and the dynamics of flight
as the bird takes wing…
this single feather playing
only a small part
in the sum of the whole
and once again,
i am found…
because i am lost…
in the awe of nature
by Sylvia L. Mattingly
July 18, 2020

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