By madowoi

Sargent Brook

It is the story of the falling rain
to turn into a leaf and fall again

it is the secret of a summer shower
to steal the light and hide it in a flower

and every flower a tiny tributary
that from the ground flows green and momentary

is one of water's wishes and this tale
hangs in a seed-head smaller than my thumbnail

if only I a passerby could pass
as clear as water through a plume of grass

to find the sunlight hidden at the tip
turning to seed a kind of lifting rain drip

then I might know like water how to balance
the weight of hope against the light of patience

water which is so raw so earthy-strong
and lurks in cast-iron tanks and leaks along

drawn under gravity towards my tongue
to cool and fill the pipe-work of this song

which is the story of the falling rain
that rises to the light and falls again

A Short Story of Falling, by Alice Oswald

After a fair bit of rain and gusty winds the night before, I headed over to the Giant Slide for a hike and found every little stream, brook, and culvert full of water rushing down the mountain towards Somes Sound. At first the noise was more of a quiet trickle, but as I got up into the notch between Sargent and Parkman Mountains it grew into a loud commotion bouncing off the rocks and creating an insistent, buzzing roar. The trail followed the stream, crossing back and forth several times, and with so much wet rock and moss the footing was difficult to trust. It really focussed the mind, and it occurred to me that it wasn’t entirely safe. Sometimes I would really have to plan out my next few steps before moving forward, then readjust my balance before looking ahead. It was fabulous, but at some point I realized coming back down was not an option, and I had a long hike ahead of me. At the first trail junction I headed west up the shoulder of Parkman, taking me out of the slide. It was startling how quickly the tumult of the stream died away. I found myself standing in warm sunlight with a few chickadees chirping nearby. As the adrenaline slowly left me I felt absurdly happy, almost giddy. It was a gorgeous day. The rest of the hike involved going up and over Parkman, and hoofing it along the carriage road to get back to my original trailhead. My legs were tired, my feet were sore, and my back was stiff, but I had no regrets.

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