My love for the land, whether thick wood
or freshwater, has never left my awareness,
ever seeking shelter in the bosom
of Creation, Gaia Mother, by whatever
name she may be known;

And as I return to this rugged terrain
of my birth, I am reminded that grace
is ever offered in the pauses
and the stillness of rivers and forest,
of mirrored lakes and skies where hawk
and heron eke out survival amidst
the frenzy of human existence,
and they see us, too, their razor eyes
yet trained on survival;

Still there is no tightness in shoulder
or heartbeat, gliding freely as wind
through my own crumpled hair, cruising
on lilting thermals, heedless of danger
and their own death stalking,
and I wonder at human folly,
the mistrust of our bodies, flesh
our own indomitable link to the endless
cycle of existence, mind eluding
this blessed reality in favor of fantasy,
the movie reel oblivious to the story, itself
impressed upon the film to last as long
as it will;

Rivers stand the test of time without need
to impress anyone, lest they be dammed up
at the hands of man; nourishing waters
without which we would lose not only
beauty, but the very fount of life, itself.

  • Deception Pass, WA
    Anacortes, WA
    Eby’s Landing, WA
    Forest trail, Ladysmith, BC
    River kayaking, Leavenworth, WA
    Whidbey Island, WA

    all photosΒ Β©Bela Johnson

33 thoughts on “Returning

  1. I agree with Renee. Beautiful homage to nature. It’s always a sense of calm and peace whenever we allow ourselves to get lost in nature. This was a great line, ‘Rivers stand the test of time without need…to impress anyone, lest they be dammed up’. That sums up nature very well. It’s beauty lies in the fact that it doesn’t seek out to impress, but just stands there as it is…and funnily enough we all gravitate towards it. Wonderful snapshots πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Bela,

    Loved the pictures. Never realised you possessed such an expert eye for the lens.

    Coming back to the post, the following lines, and I quote, resonated with me.

    “…….I wonder at human folly,
    the mistrust of our bodies, flesh
    our own indomitable link to the endless
    cycle of existence, mind eluding
    this blessed reality in favor of fantasy…..”

    Is it not this mistrust which propelled us to be the ‘Numero Uno’ species on this planet? Is it not this mistrust that ensured that we reorder our environment and systematically exterminate 90% of the fauna which had been existing sustainably for millions of years? So yes, we needed to develop the skill to envision fantasies to keep away the guilt of what we have perpetrated on other living creatures over the last 50,000 years.


    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree that the mistrust of the flesh, which keeps us rooted as beings of the earth with dependence on her bounty, has been largely responsible for the overreach of homo sapiens on several levels. Have you ever read The Sixth Extinction? Scientist Elizabeth Kolbert demonstrates this domination/overreach very well; this ‘reordering’ of the environment to the point of throwing things so far out of balance, I doubt it can ever recover.

      Then comes the fantastical – the turning away of the mind into fabrications of our own making, including the ridiculous proposition of a migration to Mars. Go for it, I say! And leave those of us who truly care for the Mother behind, in order to salvage what’s left of the original template.

      Blessings to you, Shakti – thanks as always for offering your perspectives on my writing. Aloha ❀


  3. A beautiful post Bela, your words giving a loosening, freeing sensation in me. I’ve spent too much time indoors recently, or at least, wandering on my own little plot. By the way, my apologies for not having been around much of late; it’s just that I’ve wanted to turn WordPress off for a few weeks. H ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh, I well understand about turning off the computer. I’ve done it myself lately. Hardly checked online at all whilst on vacation with two dear friends for two weeks. Then came home to overwhelm: a jungle yard. Backed up bookwork. It took a bit for me to catch up on my reading, more than the writing. That’s always there somewhere – pull in some images, hit Publish and there you are.

      Glad to hear you’re moved by this offering, back out into the wonders awaiting you. If I am inside for any time at all, it’s almost like my skin crawls until I can get out and move around on the trail, my bike, something!

      Sending you buckets of love on this fall-ish day here. We’ve had far too much heavy jungle rain and humidity for my blood. Enjoy your own fall season! Aloha ❀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Aloha, Betty – thanks so much for always taking time to comment on my posts. I love taking photos – most of these were just taken with my iPhone. It’s finding the right composition and light that’s the challenge, but it’s also the fun of it.

      I am happy you and others enjoy these images. I’ve long taken them, but didn’t really consider placing them on WP. I do have an Instagram account which pushes them to Facebook as well. And apparently people really like them, which pleases me.

      Have a lovely weekend upcoming, Betty! And do enjoy fall there – it was ever my favorite season while living on the US mainland. ❀


  4. Beautiful pictures from WA, Bela ! However, I can’t remember having seen any of these names before even if I lived down Freemantle way for a year. Bunbury, Geraldton, Perth, Yanchup, Cottesloe – yes, but none of these? Are you living up into the NW Australia?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohgosh, Svein, I didn’t realize my US state abbreviation might be mistconstrued by all my wonderful readers living outside this (crazy) country! So sorry I wasn’t more specific. This is WA, Washington State, located in the Pacific Northwest region of the Western United States. You have taught me a valuable lesson this morning, for which I do thank you! Aloha from Hawaii (where we live and have, for many years now). Peace. ❀


  5. πŸ™‚ Well, I’ve been up there as well, Bela, but I’m getting to be pretty old and my memory seems to fail me several times a day these days! (I’m getting used to it!) Hawaii, however, I have never visited!
    But it would better explain the beauty of your pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I can only imagine. I’m 65, so not there yet, but I do have an 81 year-old friend and she is definitely losing track of some of her thoughts; forgetting that she just said something a couple of days ago. Things like that. One can easily forgive such transgressions, because we know we are ‘heading your way soon!’ Aloha, Svein.


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