The Green Silence

“He had run behind Ta-Kumsaw through the forests of this whole land, north and south, and in that running young Alvin learned him how the Red man ran, hearing the greensong of the living woodland, moving in perfect harmony to that sweet silent music” – Prentice Alvin by Orson Scott Card.

After two days of running workshops in Hamilton and Auckland I was ready to go home. I got a taxi through the motorways and spaghetti junctions of Auckland’s desperately congested and inadequate transport system, massive concrete ramps seething between high rise buildings and endless suburbs. The flight was delayed for two hours so I sat in the sterile, blandness of Auckland airport.

Once home I drove to the Quaker family camp at Journey’s end, near Loburn, about 40 mins north of Christchurch. Almost everyone had gone horse riding so when I pulled in to the camp it was quiet. The sun poured dappled through the birch and willow leaves onto the thick grass. Native birds sang in the trees and circadas chirped a rhythmic beat. The calm and peace of the place washed over me like a warm bath. I sunk into the quiet beauty and spirit of the site. Within minutes I felt restful and still. Just as Orson Scott Card described it, the silence was green, alive.

What is it that makes us surround ourselves with dead things, with steel and glass that separates us from the living land? How can I return more often to this connection with the source and the earthly manifestation of living energy?


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