A secret place

There is a place I know that is shy, like the wild things of field and fen, forest and mountain crag. And the things that dwell there, they are shy too.

As a child I once lay on my back on an abandoned mattress beside a blue spruce under the great Colorado sky. I watched and listened to the snow as it descended upon me and I wondered if it would bury me.

I listened, as a small child, to the chickadees, and we'd talk for hours back and forth; as far as I knew, it was they and I alone together on all the earth.

Snakes whispered soft inquiring hisses, face to face, until a distraught parent put an end to such shenanigans. I have hugged to myself all the scents and sounds, sights and feelings of every changing season, of every small green shoot as it pushed through the earth, of every late late summer sound - chain saw or cricket - everything as it came along. And once, as a young woman of nineteen, I stood alone upon the black sands of a remote West Coast beach where it was silent except for the gulls and the waves and the shy things which had been drawn out by all those years of watching and listening.

Are mere human beings, if they listen ever so gently, capable of hearing the musical hum of the Pythagorean universe? Perhaps being bathed, from the time of entry into this world, in the celestial humming does prevent most from hearing that hum, but if we cultivate our listening ear it is possible to hear it, to separate the tones.

The place I know that is shy cannot be taken by force, force only frightens it shut. Surely Lorenzo was right and the muddy vesture of decay, the decay of reflecting upon the merely mortal, can grossly close it in, can frighten into hiding the shy inhabitants, tender, pure, gentle and musical.

But this secret place also opens up to all those traits of gentleness and a quiet nature. In the darkest hours of the night, the smallest hours of the morning, the loneliest moments on some quiet dawn-drenched beach, shy things move in battalions over the threshold of the secret place to tend the truth of each receptive heart.

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