7 September

Sylvan Morning, Something Planted In My Soul

by Jon Katz
Sylvan Morning, Bedlam Farm

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” – Thomas Merton.

Up in the country, we often take deer for granted. Here, all of us have hit and killed a deer on the road at one time or another, it is almost a rite of passage. Many people here killed deer for sport in hunting season or kill them for food for the winter.

I barely see them, even though I often see them grazing by the roadside.

This morning, when I came o out into the pasture, I saw a lone deer in the back, standing still and frozen, watching me. She didn’t flee or hide, she just stood still watching me for the longest time, and suddenly, I was reminded of the simplicity and beauty of deer, seen in nature, in my back yard.

How often I am  reminded that we live in such a distracted world, we easily fail to see what is right in front of us.

Merton said that every moment and every event of every man’s life on earth plants something in  his soul. This morning, the doe planted something in mine. And I even had the big lens on the camera.


“Like everyone else I live under the bomb. But unlike most people I live in the woods. Do not ask me to explain this. I am embarrassed to describe it. …
…I live in the woods out of necessity. I get out of bed in the middle of the night because it is imperative that I hear the silence of the night, alone, and, with my face on the floor, say psalms, alone, in the silence of the night.
It is necessary for me to live here alone without a woman, for the silence of the forest is my bride and the sweet dark warmth of the whole world is my love and out of the heart of that dark warmth comes the secret that is heard only in silence, but it is the root of all the secrets that are whispered by all the lovers in their beds all over the world.” 

Dancing in the Water of Life: The Journals of Thomas Merton Vol.V p 239 – 240

Audio: My reading of “Dancing In The Waters Of Life.”

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