Thursday, August 20, 2009


How about some Borland? It's been a while...

A man must pause now and then, when the storms of human passion have filled the sky with the dust of emotions, pause and wonder if the old landmarks are still there. So, when the heat of the day is past and evening comes, a man steps outdoors to look, to feel, to sense the world around him.

These late August evenings, a moon well into its first quarter hangs high in the west, where it has been at this phase ever since there was a moon. North, as the dusk deepens, stands the polestar, and beneath it and to the west a few degrees hangs the Big Dipper, just where it has always been on a late August evening. To the east is the Great Square of Pegasus, old and fixed in the firmament when the Greeks first knew it. And overhead flies Cygnus, the swan.

A man listens, and the scratchy stridulation of a katydid rasps at the dusk. There is an answer, then another, and soon there is a chorus. As always, in late Summer, as it was before man was here to listen. And the crickets chirp and trill in the meadow grass, as they have chirped and trilled for several eons. From the edge of the woodland comes the call of the whippoorwill, over and over, repetitious as the years but reminding man that birds were here and flying before man came and walked on two feet.

A breeze moves down the valley, and the leaves whisper in the treetops. Trees that count the centuries, a breeze that curled around this earth when the hills were mountains. The leaves whisper, and a man listens, and he knows that there still are landmarks.

--Hal Borland, Sundial of the Seasons

Pic is of one of my landmark trees... a hackberry I'm told.


Carolyn H said...

Laura, thanks for posting the Hal Borland piece. I needed that today.

Carolyn H.

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

It's funny Laura, just last night I pulled my copy of Sundial of the Seasons from the shelf, feeling the need to read a bit of Borland. I bought the book because of you and think of you every time I see it.

I have goosebumps!

Beth said...



MevetS said...

"... a hackberry I'm told."

Where's a botany geek when you need one?

MevetS said...

(Do'h, hit the enter button too soon)

I wasn't previously familiar with Mr. Borland. He's now on my library list. Thanks.