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“The point of a maze is to find its centre. The point of a labyrinth is to find your centre” David Brazzeal, Guerilla Labyrinths .
The snow is disappearing in patches. Bare spots here — there. Picking my way from spot to spot I move across the oak savannah for a labyrinth snow walk. Eventually I run out of open way, so I turn and find the beginning looking for another series of snowless patches that perhaps will lead me further.
I run into another wide stretch of snow, so I twist again and seek a fresh run of open ground to set my tennis shoes. Finally, I find an open sea that takes me right to the fated oak.
She’s worn and tired, nine branches drooping severely down. Jagged torn broken limbs litter the ground.
The oak’s rough trunk and branches are covered with a black lichen dressing like she’s been on fire. On top of the burn are pumpkin rust dots of roe-lichen and small scattered celadon plant-rosettes. Reef coral of the Oregon oak savannah.
The oak trees around the old tree are hearty–healthy with slender limb-fingers lifting in supplication toward the upper.
But the fated oak has experienced a turning.
We will one day.
I think about that as I sit on rough rock with Professor Skookum nearby. He’s twelve now. Maybe another year or two. Skookum lies heavily but comfortably on a big ice patch. Perhaps we both watch and listen for new beginnings- after all it is Spring time.
Killdeer, circling high and calling not far away are searching for snow-free ground to lay 4-6 precious eggs. They arrived as expected, but our land didn’t welcome with its season-late deep snow blanket.
And, a Say’s Phoebe, our earliest nesting bird sallies forth from an old wooden fence post as an unseen male robin sings trying to establish territory somewhere over there.
Weak- weak spring, but we’re all here –journeying– endings and beginnings surrounding the center.