Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Topmost Spire


We hug the earth — how rarely we mount! Methinks we might elevate ourselves a little more. We might climb a tree at least. I found my account in climbing a tree once. It was a tall white pine on the top of a hill, and though I got well pitched I was well payed for it, for I discovered new mountains in the horizon which I had never seen before, — so much more of the earth and the heavens. I might have walked about the foot of the tree for three score years and ten, and yet I certainly should never have seen them. But, above all, I discovered around me, — it was near the end of June, on the ends of the topmost branches only, a few minute and delicate red cone-like blossoms, the fertile flower of the white pine looking heavenward.

I carried straightway to the village the topmost spire, and showed it to stranger jurymen who walked the streets, — for it was court week — and to farmers and lumber dealers, and wood-choppers and hunters, and not one had ever seen the like before, but they wondered as at a star dropped down! Tell of ancient architects finishing their works on the tops of columns as perfectly as on the lower and more visible parts! Nature has from the first expanded the minute blossoms of the forest only toward the heavens, above men’s heads and unobserved by them. We see only the flowers that are under our feet in the meadows. The pines have developed their delicate blossoms on the highest twigs of the wood every summer for ages, as well over the heads of Nature’s red children, as of her white ones. Yet scarcely a farmer or hunter in the land has ever seen them.

1 comment:

Western North Carolina Writer's Underground said...

THE HIGH AND WINDY PLACES

In the high and windy places, the places above the stairs,
lives a furious untamed wildness, up in the thin and freezing airs.

It’s when I go a marching, a tramping from the start,
to those wonderfully empty places
that quickens the beating of my heart.

Though I’m a stranger in high places, I strive to understand;
those high and windy places, the special places of the land.

C.