How long does it take to
make the woods?
As long as it takes to make the world.
The woods is
present as the world is, the presence
of all its past and of all its time to
It is always finished, it is always being made, the act
making forever greater than the act of its destruction.
It is a part of
eternity for its end and beginning
belong to the end and beginning of all
the beginning lost in the end, the end in the beginning.
What is the way to the woods, how do you go there?
climbing up through the six days’ field,
kept in all the body’s years, the
sorrow, weariness, and joy. By passing through
the narrow gate on
the far side of that field
where the pasture grass of the body’s life gives
to the high, original standing of the trees.
By coming into the
shadow, the shadow
of the grace of the strait way’s ending,
the shadow of
the mercy of light.
Why must the gate be narrow?
Because you cannot pass beyond
To come into the woods you must leave behind
the six days’
world, all of it, all of its plans and hopes.
You must come without weapon or
expecting nothing, remembering nothing,
into the ease of
sight, the brotherhood of eye and leaf.
~ Wendell Berry ~
(left button to play, right button