JIM CONRAD'S
NATURALIST NEWSLETTER
Issued from Rancho Regenesis
in the woods near Ek Balam Ruins north of Valladolid in
Yucatán, MÉXICO

SEPTEMBER 11, 2016

*****

FAST AND SLOW TIME
Leaving the hacienda and moving onto the isolated rancho with no electricity or landline has been a kind of rebirth. It's something a lot of people may experience someday when the infrastructure breaks down. In that context, maybe I'm like one of America's early pioneers, the ones who first crossed the mountains to see a continent stretching ever westward, equally home to danger and promise. Those first pioneers sent letters home, to back East. I'm sending my letters to you.

One thing about this new life is that it summons a different view of time. At first, time here seemed to slow down, but when I began to pay attention, I saw a world hurrying to get things done. Jays rushing from plum tree to plum tree, each bird trying to nab the perfect plum. Butterflies quivering with nervous energy as their proboscises stabbed repeatedly into the daisies' florets. Wildflower roots racing downward through soil, trying to stay ahead of the soil's surface zone of dryness. .

My new arrangement with time, then, is one in which my old accounting of the day's moments has became inappropriate. In this new life, there is not fast and slow time, but rather flowing, ever changing textures and meanings of "now."

*****

SHADOWN AND BLOSSOM AND FRUIT
Into this different dimension of time I have brought my Kindle reader onto which I've downloaded over 150 books. All free, mostly from the online Project Gutenberg site. Nowadays I'm reading George Eliot's Scenes of Clerical Life. One late afternoon, reading on the back porch, a certain sentence buried amid many others charmed me with its elegance of expression and thought, and I share it here:

We reap what we sow, but Nature has love over and above that justice, and gives us shadow and blossom and fruit that spring from no planting of ours.

Maybe the reason the sentence touches me is that these days I am filled with the sense of abandoning my own days of sowing and reaping, to more vividly explore a theater of shadow and blossom and fruit. And I am content being a nerve ending of the self-monitoring, evolving Universal Creative Impulse, for that Impulse does seem to be a kind of love over and above all human justice.

*****

WALKING
My bicycle broke down, so I walked to Santa Rita a few kilometers away, to buy a part, then I hiked to Ek Balam to visit Lee before she left on a trip. As I hiked back to the Rancho, two North American travelers -- ladies about my age visiting Ek Balam ruins -- stopped and offered a ride. During our couple of minutes together in the car I told them how I liked walking, and that it made me feel good.

"It's a meditation," one of the ladies agreed. Three times she'd walked the pilgrimage route from southern France across northern Spain, to Santiago de Compestela, so she knew exactly the healing, restorative and inspirational powers of walking.

How beautiful are green weeds and bushes beneath a blue sky with white clouds in it, the lushness alive with birdsong and butterflies.

What a miracle to walk through all that, the stinging, sweet tiredness of the body constantly informing you how intimately you are part of each footstep/moment.

*****

Best wishes to all Newsletter readers,

Jim

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