Woodpeckers and The World of Ideas

Lughnasa                             Waxing Harvest Moon

All afternoon as I have wandered the precincts of Enlightenment thought a pileated woodpecker has drilled one of the dead trees in our woods.  The sound compels attention, a drummer of a truly ancient tribe with a steady and resonant sound.  Each time it comes I’m drawn away from the abstract world of ideas and the delicate process of translating thought into words.

The woodpecker sounds push me away from the desk, here where I now have three desktop computers, two monitors, two large external hard drives, a router, a cable modem and a weather station in front of me, two printers and a phone off to my right.

When I turn toward the sound, my gaze lights on the purple blossoms of clematis, a fragrance worthy of tiny glass stoppered bottles selling high and it’s mine to enjoy for free.  This plants is special, because it’s plant of origin was in the garden of a woman who died from breast cancer.  We got our plant several years ago and I have divided it many times.

Then I notice the late afternoon sun, so low now.  By September 20th the earth will have moved enough along on its orbit that the angle between us and the sun will diminish to 46 degrees, a decrease of 23 degrees from its high at the Summer Solstice.   By December 20th it will decline another 24 degrees to its low of 22.  The angle casts interesting shadows, illuminates the clematis and a late hemerocallis bloom, a golden orange set on fire by our one and only true star.

Both of these places, the abstract world of thought, nestled in that small yet infinitely large space between my ears, and the cabaret set with a woodpecker drumming and Sol doing the lights exist, yet the relationship between them has felled many trees and spilled gallons of ink.  In what way can my conception of reason, a chunky idea studded with links and nested in a web that includes Europe, the mind of God and the Lake Minnetonka Unitarian-Universalist Society, be like the woodpecker, its lattice combed skull vibrating with each pile driver punch driven in a quest for food?

Its equivalence to the liquid, dying sunlight is more accessible, more plausible.  But why?  How does that sweet clematis fragrance fit?  It is all a mystery, yet here I sit writing about it.  Another mystery.

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