using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Lions Roar : January 2005
SHAMBHALA SUN JANUARY 2005 71 the landscape, the interlocking of all those different species and sizes of trees: I realize with a wonderful bittersweetness that I really don’t have a clue as to what either of them is thinking or feeling, only that they are fully suspended in the business of being children—that they are in a place where I want them to be, and yet where I cannot go. Though even as I am thinking this, and thinking about how totally oblivious they are in the moment to my adult presence, Low turns her gaze from the mountains and tells me she thinks I’m standing too close to the edge of the road, and the steep slope leading down to the river. “Don’t slide down there,” she says, taking my hand. “I don’t want to lose you.” We resume our journey. Not too far from where we’ve parked, we encounter a dead garter snake in the road, tire- struck, but intact. The girls are fascinated, of course, both by their instinctual, archetypal fear of snakes, and by the arche- type of death, and they examine the snake, the specimen, like little scientists, stirring it gently with a stick—it still looks alive—and Lowry sprinkles a little dust on its head, as if in some pagan ritual. We pass on, then, though she’s quiet all the way to the truck, and when I ask her what the matter is some fifteen min- utes later, she says, “It makes me sad when things die.” What do I know about girls, or anything? Would not a little boy—a boy such as myself, perhaps—have wound the dead snake around his wrist to wear as a bracelet, an amulet, or tossed it on his sister? All I can do, often, is watch, and listen. So often it feels as if I’m treading behind them, observing, listening and learning other rhythms, rather than being out in front, as if breaking trail for them, the way I had always assumed it would be, being a parent. Again and again, watching the girls watch this landscape— or anything else, for that matter—helps me see that thing more fully, and in new ways, whether down on my hands and knees at ground level or staring off at the horizon. There’s still time for me to learn some of what they see and know and feel. It’s not too late. I can still learn, or relearn, some, if not all, of what they seem to know intuitively about our engagement with time. When to walk, when to run, when to rest, when to dream. When to be tender—more often than not—and, by extension, when and what not to be. I want to believe that my bitterness and cynicism, and my fears for the environment and the coming world, fade when in their company; that such worries leach away, as if back into the soil of the landscape itself, where they might even be absorbed by the rattling cottonwoods and the scented orchids. It is probably not that way at all. But some days, after a time spent in the woods with the girls, that is how it feels. And I rarely come away from such days without feeling that I have learned something, even if I’m not sure what it is, and that although time certainly has not ceased or even paused, at least it has not accelerated in that awful way it can do some- times, time slipping out from beneath you as if you’ve lost your footing on ice or some other slick surface. I guess it’s better to be aware of the briskness of its passage than not, after all. It’s going to go fast, either way. But if you’re aware of its brevity, then at least you’ll be aware too of the eddies and slow stretches. But my friends who stopped and visited the other evening when we were picking berries were right: it’s going to go real fast, either way. The best I can do is try and keep up. ©