Thursday, December 8, 2016

Winter Solstice 2016 along the Merrimack

Conservation Center, Concord, NH: 12/6/16
CC Jean Stimmell
Exposed in this stark landscape,
the ominous, Van Gogh sky
swaths me in a heavy blanket:
It must be Winter Solstice.

Friday, November 18, 2016


Salisbury State Park; 11/12/16
CC Jean Stimmell
along the ocean:
metal fences decay
into fish skeletons.

Friday, October 21, 2016

The turtle who holds up the Earth

Giant Snapper
CC Jean Stimmell:10/20/16
I slammed on the brakes, startled by a dark, lurching apparition, as big as a medium sized dog, crossing the road in front of me. It was a massive snapping turtle, her shell at least 2-1/2 feet across. I tried to guide her to safety by pushing her across the road with a stout pine limb but she was too strong, too heavy, and too stubborn to move. Eventually other cars stopped and we stood guard until she safely crossed the road.

She evoked strong feelings in me too deep to unpack quickly. Upon reflection, I think the nearest word to describe what I felt is awe: Awe to be in the presence of such an ancient ancestor, such a primal spirit.

Tonight, as I examined my photograph, I marveled at what was on the turtle's back: seeds, pine needles and a patch of earth deep enough to grow something. The turtle's back resembles a tiny island!

 That image triggered a memory of an ancient myth, versions of which are found in India, China and North America, the last of which is known as "Turtle Island" to some tribes as a reference to the belief that the continent was resting on the back of an gigantic turtle.

After my close encounter, I can viscerally relate to the reverence that indigenous people have for this primal archetype: I can’t explain it, other than to say,  I feel like I have been blessed with a visit from a god.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Portal to everlasting life

Fort Foster, Kittery Maine
CC Jean Stimmell: 10/17/16

Alice may have her rabbit hole 
but here's the real deal

Mother Earth’s portal
to a pulsing
animate world
as near as right here
right now:

a universe of interbeing where
every one talks to one another,
not only four-legged critters
and creepy-crawly things,
but kelp and kale –

even stones.